Winter is here.

Woke up to the pitter-patter of rain on the skylight, which I expected, no biggie. I stumbled to the bathroom, put on my workout clothes and filled my water bottle, stumbling out the door to — snow. The rain was the dreaded “wintry mix,” that fat, plopping precipitation that comes at the beginning and end of the season and basically sucks, although at least it’s not too cold when it’s wintry-mixing outside.

Did the 6 a.m. boxing workout, taking a few breaks to work the mitts with the trainer. Smug level: Orange.

Hey, with winter bearing down on us, we take our little rewards where we can — flannel sheets, hearty soups, red wine with friends, online shopping for the holidays. I came home to see a news alert on Alan’s phone, about police responding to another active shooter. A bit later, a correction: Not a mass shooting, a malfunctioning water heater. Well, there’s a relief. I guess we’re all on edge after yesterday’s slaughter in Thousand Oaks, with the revolting detail that some of the people in the bar — some of the people who died — were survivors of the Las Vegas slaughter last fall. We are insane in this stupid country.

I have to go out in the wintry mix later today to attend a seminar on marijuana legalization, so I’m keeping my head light this morning. Did a little scanning for gift ideas, and fell headfirst into the weird world of startup underwear — you know, the MeUndies, Tommy John, all those brands that advertise on podcasts and have their noses in the air because they’re startups, and hence superior to Hanes and what-have-you.. And excuse me for saying this, but: The day I pay $35 for a pair of everyday u-trou is the day I hit the goddamn lottery, and probably not even then. I don’t doubt that it’s got amazingly soft microfiber whatever-the-hell fabric, and I’m sure it fits very well, but it’s underwear. If I’m going to pay that much, I want it to be lingerie, dammit. For just wearing under a pair of jeans, I’m going with something I can buy in a three-pack at Target.

Other mysteries: $200-a-pair blue jeans. Yes, yes, it’s selvage denim, supposedly superior to all other denims. Selvage, it turns out, is basically “self-edge,” and what that means is, the weave is different and it will only fray in two directions, instead of all four. Good to know! I generally expect my jeans not to fray at all — the worst money I ever spent was for a pair of “distressed” Levi’s, which have holes in the legs and can only be worn for a brief window in spring and fall, when it’s cool enough for jeans but not so cold you can’t wear the air-conditioned kind.

Anyway, jeans are one of those things that really rewards brand loyalty. You find the one that works on your bod, and you buy it forever. I’ve got a Levi’s ass, and Levi’s are my jeans jam, and I’m just grateful they don’t cost $200 a pair. You need to know what fits you, because jeans really are almost like, well, underwear.

Enough ranting about shopping. On to the bloggage.

Sarah Sanders is a lying liar, but you already knew that. That intern looks like a Sarah-in-training. Good luck, girlfriend, but I’d advise you to jump off this train at the first opportunity.

Mostly for Detroiters, but the issues are probably universal in contemporary urban America: An interview with the keeper of the Terrible Ilitches Facebook page. The Ilitches are a local billionaire family, owners of the Tigers and Red Wings, and adept at getting the city to subsidize their developments with tax money, promising payoffs that never come to pass.

Why Michigan just passed an anti-gerrymandering initiative: Because since the last round of redistricting, Democratic candidates have outpolled Republicans statewide, but find themselves outnumbered in the state legislature, and in Washington.

And I leave you with this difficult-to-watch clip. But watch it we must.

Off to the showers for a mostly work-at-home day. Enjoy yours, and your weekend.

Posted at 9:09 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

54 responses to “Winter is here.”

  1. Deborah said on November 9, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Wow, that poor woman. This has got to stop.

    Light snow in Chicago this morning.

    Hard to believe in a little over a week we’ll be heading back to NM for Thanksgiving. I’ll be there for 2 weeks, my husband only 1. Then a week or so after that we may be going to London again for 10 days, that’s still up in the air though.

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  2. Sherri said on November 9, 2018 at 9:53 am

    My experience with $200 jeans is that they hold their shape for multiple wearings better than cheaper jeans, fwiw. Levi’s don’t fit my body, and Eddie Bauer jeans did, but they keep changing them, so I finally tried the $200 ones. They fit.

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  3. Deborah said on November 9, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I used to buy my jeans at Old Navy, then they discontinued the type I liked, after that I bought my jeans at Target, of course they discontinued the ones I liked there and now I buy my jeans at Uniqlo. I’ve never spent more than $40 on a pair of jeans, and those are for the ones I buy now, the ones I used to buy were less than $30. I mostly wear skinny black jeans or very, very dark blue ones. Black jeans stay black much longer now than they used to, it’s probably some new toxic dye but it works.

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  4. Mark P said on November 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

    “Denim blue, faded up to the sky
    And though you want them to last forever
    You know they never will …
    And the patches make the goodbye harder still.”

    I buy the cheapest jeans I can find. The only problem with them is that it’s hard to find the right size. I really need 33-33 (maybe 32-33), but I can never find a 33 inseam. I end up wearing a 34 and getting frayed cuffs. They might be a little baggy, but no one wants to see an old man’s butt anyway.

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  5. alex said on November 9, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I’ve always had the best luck with Gap jeans, but they closed down all the Gap stores in my area save for a crappy outlet store selling hideous teen stuff that nobody bought in their regular stores. So I bought some rather more expensive jeans at a mall anchor store and those will never fray because I can hardly stand to wear them. Just not comfy.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on November 9, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Just bought a new pair of jeans yesterday after extensive searching. I’m an apple and it seems like most jeans are for pears, so on me they look like riding jodhpurs. Which would be fine if I wanted them for riding. It’s almost as bad as buying a swimsuit or finding a winter coat that isn’t six inches too short in the arms. Don’t get me started.

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  7. LAMary said on November 9, 2018 at 10:50 am

    The bar where the shooting happened was a country western bar and the concert in Vegas was a country western concert. Same crowd. Going to Vegas for a weekend is very common here. I’m trying to figure out why they are having big deal blood drives but not reporting on how many people were wounded in the shooting. Only how many were killed. Did everyone who was shot die? I might have missed that detail.
    The same area where the country bar is located is now on fire. Not the bar itself but the fire is closing in. It’s a big fire and it’s dry and windy out there.

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  8. Jim G said on November 9, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I’m willing to pay extra for jeans that are made in the U.S., but the last pair I found were low-rise, which is just not a good idea on a man in his 50s. So I keep buying the L.L. Bean jeans that I know fit. Am I an unfashionable middle-aged dude? Yes. Yes, I am.

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  9. Sherri said on November 9, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Julie, I’ve never had the problem of a coat (or anything else) too short in the sleeves. I have the opposite problem – the sleeves always reaching past my knuckles, thanks to my short arms.

    When I needed to buy a formal dress last year, I went to a stylist at Nordstrom. There was an older woman there, buying clothes for a cruise, and we got to chatting. Turns out, she was the mystery writer J.A. Jance. She said she and her husband had lost a lot of weight, and so she was buying new clothes for the cruise. Her husband had told her, you’ve lost all this weight, you look great, don’t come home with a fucking muu-muu!

    My husband is appreciative of the work I’ve done in changing my body, so he has no problem with the $200 jeans I wear :).

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  10. Jakash said on November 9, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Mark P,

    I have the same problem, but with 31, rather than 33. (If my waist was still 32, like in college, I’d include that number. Uh, it’s not.) A 32 inseam used to be fine, but it seems that I’m shrinking, alas. Being brand-loyal for most products just doesn’t seem to work for me these days. They all change things too often. All I want is some traditional dark blue Levi’s 505s from 20 years ago, but finding them on sale among the mountains of different numbers, shades and versions of relaxed-fittiness is often difficult, depending on the store. Yes, I could buy them online, but I’m not inclined to pay $59.50. So, I’ve sampled the cheap versions of many brands. Have not found one that I’m actually loyal to. Adjusting to “updated” versions of the running shoes I like every few years is enough drama for me.

    And what is it with this low-riding waist nonsense, anyway? The feeling that my pants are falling off has never appealed to me, whatever the cause. I’m certainly not going to purposely buy something that is *designed* to feel like that. Sheesh, and would these designers please, please, please get off my lawn? ; )

    Forgot to mention — excellent, on-point song reference Mr. P!

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  11. Scout said on November 9, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I buy all my jeans at my favorite thrift store. Someone else has already done the hard work of breaking them in so by the time they end up at Savers they are perfect. New jeans are a hassle and expensive. I never pay more than $10, usually they cost me about $4.

    At this moment Kyrsten Sinema is ahead in the AZ Senate count. It’s been a nailbiter for AZ Dems this week.

    The mass shootings are disgusting and we as a country are disgusting that nothing gets done to stop the horror. Three people get the shits from eating bad lettuce and everyone is terrified of salad. But guns? Meh. Nothing can be done because people value their hobby over human lives. The NRA is a terrorist organization.

    Anyone notice the radio silence about the Deadly Stroller Invasion now that the election is over? Wonder what they’re going to do with the ‘welcoming committee’ troops they sent to sit there for two months waiting for whatever stragglers survive the trek.

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  12. Jolene said on November 9, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    LAMary, I haven’t looked at follow-up reports, but, in the immediate aftermath of the Thousand Oaks shooting, the sheriff said at a press conference that only one person was grazed by a bullet. All other injuries were fairly minor things like being cut by broken glass while escaping.

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  13. Colleen said on November 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I have never had a Levi butt. Could never fit in them right. I wear reasonably priced jeans from Kohl’s. And thanks to my work with Tiny Trainer, I just had to buy new ones…that were not plus sized.

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  14. Jolene said on November 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    LAMary, an update. Nobody injured in the shooting remains hospitalized this AM. So, basically, yes. Everyone who was shot died.

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  15. Mark P said on November 9, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Scout, Slate had an article about the troops Trump sent to the border with orders to shoot if anyone threw a rock or a bad look. It seems they are not going to have any contact with anyone trying to cross the border. They’re there for logistics and PR. I don’t recall hearing or seeing anything about that on the MSM.

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  16. JodiP said on November 9, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I think I’ve mentioned the magazine Foreign Affairs here. I’ve never linked their high-quality, dense articles because they are pay-walled. They’re open now for about the next two weeks. I think I began reading about 4 years ago, and am much better informed about the world. Getting this kind of news is always tough because our media are so US-centric, and with 45 sucking the air out of the room, it’s been even worse.

    I have a few pairs of jeans, and the ones I wear at home are from the Gap, 11 years old, bought emergently in Montreal when the zipper broke on the jeans I’d brought. I think I paid $CA 70. They look a little dated with their boot cut, but they are soft and roomy, thanks to the bit of weight I lost a couple years ago.

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  17. Deborah said on November 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I have the getting sleeves long enough problem too. I wish jeans (or pants in general) for women had the inseam indicated, most don’t, it would make buying clothes so much easier. I always have to try them on and length is often the biggest problem for me.

    I’m hoping for a Donnie Jr indictment today. I’ve read rumors that it’s expected soon, but that could mean in a couple of months, I guess.

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  18. Icarus said on November 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I use to joke that the other two tall, lanky guys in town would beat me to the store because I could never find 34 x 36 jeans. Now that my running has diminished and my waistline increased, some cuts of 36 fit better.

    I found the perfect pair of Levis at Six Corners. fit great, felt great. Nice blend of blue and fade. could never find a match no matter what.

    Recently I ordered a 34×34 and 36×34 (I think) and they both fit like skinny jeans but the 34×34 fit better.

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  19. Suzanne said on November 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I buy most of my jeans at Goodwill or some other thrift store. Pre-shrunk and I have never paid more than $6. I love it. If you get them home, wear them a few times, and decide they aren’t comfy, oh well! They were 6 bucks! My latest pair is Ann Taylor Loft and fit great!

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  20. Sherri said on November 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    It’s been said that the gun control debate ended with Sandy Hook, that once we were willing to tolerate a bunch of first graders being killed, it was all over, but I think things will change, are changing. With so many mass shootings now, soon everyone will only be a few degrees of separation from a victim. We’re already to the point where people are experiencing multiple of these events personally. I have two acquaintances who lost people in this past year to mass shootings, plus the mass shooting that occurred in a neighborhood where I used to live. That’s going to continue to happen, and move closer, for all of us, and I think that will change things.

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  21. Jolene said on November 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Here’s a great election story about a marginalized community organizing itself to toss out an R congressman in what had been a safe R district. Also an illustration of what happens when a policy change–in this case, the Trump travel ban–falls heavily on a particular community.

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  22. beb said on November 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I’d been seeing this headline that Slotkin had angered some Democrats on her road to victory. How can you be angry at a winner, huh? I finally read the Freep article. How to go way down a long puff piece to find the nut. Slotkin’s refusal to accept corporate or PAC money was what ticked then off. No reason why they should be so mad about that unless A) it made them look back for accepting corporate money; B) they thought she couldn’t raise enough money to win; or C) By not taking their money Slotkin would no be obligated to them. It would be nice if the article had discussed these three points.

    I got up a lot later than Nancy does (Ah, retirement!) and by then any hint of snow had already disappeared. I’m not ready for snow.

    I buy my jeans at a hardware store. Carhart, They are (comparatively) cheap and it’s one of the few places that carry jeans in my 54×30 size. The worst thing about being so large is that the pants seem to be scaled up from skinny so that to get the proper waist and have the crotch near my crotch the waist band is up need my nipples. Which is why I wear suspenders.

    One reason I was so panic-stricken about the mid-term was because the generic polling was only giving Democrats a 5-7% advantage over Republicans in the polls and I had read earlier that with all the Republican gerrymandering Dems would need to out-vote Republicans by 7-10% to just break even. As others have said, it’s easy to use computers to carve up a state into non-competitive districts. So it ought to be for computers to divide up a state into competitive districts with the smallest possible circumference. The circumference thing is to avoid districts that look like octopuses.

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  23. basset said on November 9, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Used to be a Levi’s guy when I was younger and in better shape, Carhartts work for me now. Levi’s are too low rise. Pointers, too skinny in the legs.

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  24. beb said on November 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    We haven’t heard about the Deadly Stroller Invasion lately because Trump has suspended his campaign rallies. Instead he’s taken to attack black women reporters not to mention Jim Acosta. And if Junior does get indicted this week won’t Trump have a melt-down them.

    The .45 handgun was developed during the American attempt to occupy the Philippines. The Marines needed a gun that would hit an opponent hard enough to stop them in their tracks. The pity is that the shooter probably would have been tagged by a Red Flag law. California has such a law but the police didn’t think he was a threat. I think Red Flag laws are maybe the easiest start to curbing gun violence. It doesn’t argue against gun ownership but targets people whose behavior is threatening.

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  25. susan said on November 9, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I exclusively buy men’s Carhartt jeans (blue ones and black ones) because I can get them in both my waist size and the right inseam. AND, POCKETS! Real goddamned pockets! Deep ones. Lots of them. Eight pockets. Even one for my pocket watch. Another for my TracFone™®©. One for my pens and pencil. Another for a little spiral note pad. My jeans are my purse. Been wearing those for years. They last a damn long time, too. I have no idea what ladies’ sizes I wear.

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  26. Jolene said on November 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Michelle Obama’s memoir will be published next week. Here is a review of it by Connie Schultz, who, of course, has written her own political spouse memoir.

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  27. David C. said on November 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    LL Bean jeans seem to fit me the best. Poor Mary’s preferred jeans aren’t made anymore. I don’t know what kind they are. We comb through the thrift shops and grab whatever we find. She has about ten pair stockpiled in her summer and winter sizes.

    I don’t know what it is about the words Mixed Use Development that makes cities throw money at developers. In the past couple of years they’ve been proposed three. After the city forks over money for demolition, the developer changes their mind and puts in apartments.

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  28. nancy said on November 9, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Beb, I had a minor Twitter tiff with the digital engagement something-or-other over that stupid headline on the Slotkin story. There’s been chatter in the local journalism community about their clickbaity headlines, all with the word “this” — This man knows the meaning of life, This actor is making a movie in Detroit, and so on.

    The other day I clicked on one that said, “This contagious infection has been found in Oakland County.” It was measles. Two cases, both with travelers coming on flights. I ask you.

    Today there were three headlines with “why” in there, so I made a joke about it, and he got all snitty about it; it’s not clickbait because people “engage” with stories, and if they don’t, then they change it. The “why” in the Slotkin story was two grafs, wayyy down in the story, that said she announced early that she wouldn’t take corporate PAC money, and some people told her she should. Like you said, it was a profile, and kind of a puff piece. The headline totally misrepresented the story.

    I hate it, but that’s Gannett.

    This is what I’m talking about.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on November 10, 2018 at 1:07 am

    If Beto can say “I am SO FUCKING PROUD of ALL of you!!” , the victim’s mom can say “No more fucking prayers!” She did not say that, but she could have by me. That clip startled me and I thought “yes!”. I am not a radical atheist, but the whole lazy ass postings about “thoughts” and “prayers” ain’t working. We need to bring some Aussies over here to show the pols how to go get the guns from the people who have no business owning them or having access to them. Hell, just take them all. I am also just fucking sick of these killings.

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  30. Sherri said on November 10, 2018 at 1:35 am

    LAMary, hope you’re safe from the fire. The fire seasons just seem to last forever now.

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  31. beb said on November 10, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Nancy I so happy to see your comment. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in being disappointed by Gannet. How long before they start articles with “One simple trick to…”

    I think we’re long past the stage where words like “fuck” are horrible taboo words. Kids today probably know profanity than their parents do. Or at least they have heard more profanity (from their peers) then their parents ever expected.

    One thing that’s come out of this election cycle is three people who have a strong chance of winning the presidency in 2020 — Beto O’Rourke, Gillem and Abrams. Beto probably has the most charisma, Abrams the best skill-set for President but Gillem is no slouch either.

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  32. Dave said on November 10, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I’ve already seen a posting that the victim’s mother is being accused of being a crisis actor, much as the Parkland students were. I’m so disgusted that people think things like that.

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  33. Deborah said on November 10, 2018 at 8:41 am

    I didn’t go to uncle J’s this past week because I was so exhausted from stress about the election and partly because uncle J has been exhibiting crotchety behavior lately. He’s entering another phase of Alzheimer’s that is common with those who have it. It’s upsetting because he’s always been a kind and loving man and it’s sad to see the condition inevitably worsening. The one thing that is interesting to me is watching Trump exhibiting similar behavior lately too. Makes me wonder.

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  34. Deborah said on November 10, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Nancy tweeted about Porter county, IN votes missing, that was interesting and here’s a tweet thread about that But mainly I found the map of Indiana counties interesting because of where the blue islands are. Obviously around the area near Chicago and the area of Indianapolis, Bloomington the area around Southbend etc. Again, obviously urban areas and places where there are universities, except for Fort Wayne. I don’t know what the population of FW is but I’m assuming it’s somewhat of an urban area. No? So what’s with Fort Wayne? How come it’s so conservative? I know a lot of you lived/live around there so thought I’d ask here.

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  35. Suzanne said on November 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Fort Wayne is an urban area, second largest city in the state. It’s changing some, but still very, very conservative. I am not sure why. It’s home to lots of German ancestry people and there is a church on nearly every corner, so that may be part of it. It does, however, have a Democratic mayor and he’s on term #3 (or is it #4?) and seems pretty popular, except among the tea party types.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on November 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Our Orange King, who never stops bragging about how “tough” he is, skipped a memorial ceremony today at a World War I cemetery in France because. . .it was raining. Other world leaders including Macron, Trudeau, Merkel, were not bothered by the raindrops, but then, they do not have such elaborate hairdos as our dear leader.

    The constant barrage of embarrassments created by this hideous husk of humanity never stop.

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  37. susan said on November 10, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Nicholas Soames:

    They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen #hesnotfittorepresenthisgreatcountry

    says Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill

    ƒü¢king Drumphth. He’s a damned Creamsicle™®©.

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  38. alex said on November 10, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Regarding Fort Wayne, I suspect it’s brain drain. Educated people here are vastly outnumbered. Most people who go to away to college never come back.

    Even so, I am astounded at the number of people I’ve encountered among the professional class (doctors, lawyers, executives) who are just plain provincial. My dad, who was a transplant to these parts and was both an attorney and a corporate executive, was just telling me the other day how shocked he was when his colleagues would take him to the country club. These people who seemed otherwise pleasant would transform into the haughtiest assholes and treat the people working there horribly. My dad was embarrassed to be in their company, not to mention worried sick that dinner might end up being sabotaged with bodily fluids. My dad also tells me that the late, great Ian Rolland, who didn’t golf, got a country club membership just so he could send his adopted black daughter there to swim in their pool and freak people out.

    Hyper-religiosity and toxic masculinity seem to be ingrained in the culture here at all levels of social strata. It’s like being in Mississippi only with different weather.

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  39. Jolene said on November 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    It really must be Trump’s hair that kept him from going to that memorial service. Apparently, they said the weather prevented him from going by helicopter, but he has the presidential limo there. He could have driven.

    Obama staffers on Twitter are saying, “There is always a rain alternative.”

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  40. David C. said on November 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    tRump didn’t show up which should be embarrassing to him, but isn’t. It will be embarrassing to us, but likely not as embarrassing as what he would have said had he bother to show up. Justin Trudeau threw some wicked shade. He said, “As we sit here in the rain, thinking how uncomfortable we must be these minutes as our suits get wet and our hair gets wet and our shoes get wet, I think it’s all the more fitting that we remember on that day, in Dieppe, the rain wasn’t rain, it was bullets.” My grandfather fought in WWI. He was conservative AF, but I doubt he would have given a pass to this. I guess it gives Hair Twitler more time to snog with Putin.

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  41. Deborah said on November 10, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Good for Trudeau and Churchill’s grandson. Trump is such an embarrassment. I don’t think I have ever uttered or written “president” before his name, at least I hope I never have, and I certainly will never do it from now on.

    Edit: yay for the Florida recount!

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  42. Jolene said on November 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    yay for the Florida recount!

    Sinema is currently ahead in the AZ Senate race. Looks like vote counting will take a few more days though.

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  43. LAMary said on November 10, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    No fires close by. There was a fire in Griffith Park near the zoo and that’s pretty close but they got it taken care of quickly. My ex’s Malibu neighborhood was evacuated. His house is ok but three of his neighbors lost their homes. It smells smoky here and the skies are a weird opaque shade. I know I’ll have an ash covered car again. The red flag alert, which means no outdoor fires of any sort and no parking on narrow streets, like mine, is in effect until Tuesday.
    Trump felt the need to comment on the fires being our own damn fault so no more fed funds. He apparently doesn’t realize that over 60 percent of the forest land here is owned by the federal government. He’s also just full of shit but that applies to all situations.

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  44. brian stouder said on November 10, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Regarding Fort Wayne, and especially (rural) Allen County, Friend-Of-Nancy-Nall (and all around great fellow!) Mark GiaQuinta once said that Allen County Republicans would elect a giraffe, if it was put on the ballot as a Republican…and I think he was all-too-correct (and remains so)

    Over the years, I’ve had the experience of being genuinely astounded by the opinions of people I thought I “knew”, expressing vile racism and bigotry.

    I don’t claim any moral or intellectual superiority on this sort of thing, but I will lay claim to having experienced (and accepted as plainly true) at least one damned thing that racists and bigots cannot (or will not) – people are people.

    I’ve no theory as to why – but there is one seemingly true thing I’ve noticed; suburban/rural folks seem much more prone to believing/espousing racist cant…and this tendency can be surfed upon by (sufficiently capable) gadflies and/or candidates.

    Let’s give Trump his due.

    While many (many) of us were happy as pigs in mud about American political and social progress, in the wake of President Obama’s election and re-election – and indeed, his accomplishments (chiefly “Obama-Care”) have so quickly been accepted as self-evidently right and indispensable (like FDR’s Social Security, or Ike’s Interstate system) – still, there is a primal (and utterly reflexive) set of doubts and hesitations (at best), or fears and hatreds (at worst) with regard to the idea of a black man leading the Executive Branch of the United States government.

    Give Trump this much credit: he’s successfully surfed the waves of American Know-Nothingism and racist fears like the big-time professional con-man that he is.

    As for me – I say, Kamala Harris in 2020!!

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  45. Sherri said on November 10, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    trump just wants to punish California because they didn’t vote for him. Even if someone told him how much forest land is federally owned, it wouldn’t change anything. California is an enemy.

    On this, I suspect he’s all talk, no action, because I doubt there’s anyone in the administration who supports his position and would actually try to implement it.

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  46. Jolene said on November 10, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    The Times published this very interesting article re California has so many fires. As usual, it’s complicated. According to this writer, there is some truth to Trum’s claim, but it is only a piece of the puzzle.

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  47. nancy said on November 11, 2018 at 10:53 am

    To give Fort Wayne a little more credit than some of you — the city itself trends and votes Democratic, or did when I lived there. The problem is the county, which is the largest by area in the state, and decidedly does not. That the rural part is red goes without saying, but there’s a big urbanized population in the county that’s outside the city proper, too. The moderate-GOP mayor in the ’80s annexed aggressively, arguing (correctly) that the city’s suburbs (mostly unincorporated townships) wouldn’t exist without the city itself, and should be contributing financially to its services. Most of the people out there were Republicans, and bitterly resented this strategy, because their insanely low taxes would go up to merely low. (The public arguments against it were mostly ridiculous; I can’t tell you how many ignorant letters to the editor I read about how crime in the townships would rise, because now they would be part of the “high-crime” city. As though criminals stop at the border, because they’re Fort Wayne criminals, not Aboite Township ones.) When the privately owned water utility out there (which drew groundwater from wells and wasn’t prepared for the fast growth of subdivisions on once-rural land) collapsed, however, they were happy to be hooked up to city water, and in fact this move led to much of the annexation surviving its legal challenges.

    So depending on how the districts are drawn, the Washington delegation repping the city tends to be blood-red, because they inevitably comprise big swaths of the county, as well as the rural parts of others.

    At the state level, they were even more shameless; IIRC, at one point they tried “multi-member districts” with district lines that treated the city like a pie, with the cut starting in the center and going way out into the county, with two elected reps. It diluted the city vote and favored the county’s, and I believe a court finally put a stop to it.

    All this is based on my rapidly fading memories of the place, and I welcome corrections from you locals.

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  48. Deborah said on November 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Interesting analysis Nancy, thanks.

    I found this graphic in the NYT telling, if you look at the map of the country it looks like a sea of red. But if you click on the cartogram you get a much more accurate picture of the population not land mass. The country is actually way more blue than people think. We need to make this more clear in the media because seeing all that red on the map is daunting and unfair.

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  49. Sherri said on November 11, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Randall Monroe of xkcd did a map of the 2016 election that did a good job of capturing what you’re talking about, Deborah:

    This Twitter thread makes an important point about the size of the House of Representative, which is it is not determined by the Constitution. The size being fixed at 435 is another result of a rural-urban fight, settled after a failure to reapportion at all after the 1920 census.

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  50. Deborah said on November 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    This discussion about congressional districts made me look up mine, the Illinois 7th, I’ve known all along since we moved here who our rep was (Danny Davis) but I didn’t know the history or that much about the geography of it. I didnt know the racial demographics, I kind of had an idea but not an “exact” breakdown. I found it interesting

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  51. brian stouder said on November 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    The points Nance makes (especially regarding how Fort Wayne will vote Democratic) are altogether true.

    The insidious thing I’ve witnessed in my life time is the self-selected segregation of the folks who live here.

    When I was a kiddo (five decades ago), we lived in southeast Fort Wayne (within a block of McMillan Park). All up and down the block, you’d see white guys with lunch pails walking to whoever’s turn it was to drive – to Fruehauf Trailer or Tokheim (meters) or Rea Wire or (of course) International Harvester, Falstaff Brewwery, etc.

    Families who had two cars (one for mom) – usually a new one every couple of years – and who converted carports into attached garages, etc.

    Then (around when I was heading toward high school) one noticed that every time a (white) family put their house up for sale, they (usually) moved to southwest of Fort Wayne (outside the city), or northeast of Fort Wayne – overtly to escape Fort Wayne Community Schools (which Ian Roland, et al, had worked mightily to desegregate) and go to lilly-white bastions like Homestead (or Carroll, etc)

    And the families who moved in to replace them usually weren’t white. Our (then-new) next-door-neighbors were black. He worked at GM in Ohio, and car-pooled with others, and was a Vietnam war combat veteran – one of the nicest fellows you could ever meet….and the die was cast.

    My mom stayed right there to the end of her days, and she was a Democratic party precinct committee person….

    by way of saying, Fort Wayne will vote Democratic, and our county will elect a giraffe if it’s a Republican (and not black)

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  52. Sherri said on November 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    This seems like a reasonable progressive agenda.

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  53. alex said on November 11, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Nancy, you used to live in the 07, considered the city’s most liberal precinct. In the statehouse, a big chunk of the 07 now is repped by a guy from Huntington, whose district includes all of Huntington, then an extremely skinny 30-mile line to Fort Wayne, so thin it probably doesn’t even have a single voter in it, then a big chunk of south Fort Wayne near Foster Park. It’s a flagrant effort to neutralize Democratic votes and residents there have been complaining about it for years.

    I was appalled to learn this weekend that one local official who’s an attorney and also a Facebook friend of another Facebook friend is a big Focus on the Family fanatic. I haven’t been able to shake my disgust. The SPLC classifies FoF as a hate group. He’s just one of many attorneys I’ve encountered who think nothing of casually dissing Democrats, but I had no idea his contempt ran so deep. I’ll never be able to look at him the same way again. But then I’ll never feel safe among most of my fellow citizens around here ever again after they voted for Trump.

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  54. Bitter Scribe said on November 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Maybe the NRA can give medals or something to Americans who survive more than one mass shooting.

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