Tryptophan hangovers.

You guys! I’m so bad at blogging this week! And I apologize. Somewhere along the way of having a birthday party, preparing 1.5 Thanksgiving meals, driving to hell ‘n’ gone and eating my weight in pretty much everything, this little task got dropped.

So here it is Sunday morning, a turkey breast is in the oven (yes, it’s too complicated and boring to explain), and I’m seizing this chance while I can. So, the weekend! The holiday! How was yours? The feast at Mar-a-Lago looks like it was lit, as per usual. Let’s look at the photos, shall we?

Fox News selected a set in which Melania managed to creak into a half-smile, and even Barron — poor Barron, forced to put on a goddamn necktie — seems to have a semi-pleasant emotion stirring behind his usually impassive face.

The Daily Caller proclaimed Melania “wowed” in a black lace dress, then posted photos where you could see approximately seven inches of the dress. Fashion coverage of Melania’s outfits is the best reason to read right-wing media, because that’s where they really shine. FLOTUS never fails to wow.

This is the pic most outlets went with. I like Melania’s thousand-yard stare.

I trust everyone else had a decent holiday, barring disaster. No neckties, anyway. And I hope the football team of your choice won the big game, although that certainly didn’t happen north of the 42nd parallel. The Lions sucked, the Wolverines sucked, and we’re supposed to get a few inches of snow overnight. Michigan — it’s a character-builder.

I was thinking about fake news a bit, especially after reading a rather disturbing New Yorker story about the future of AI-assisted “deep fake” technology. This is the programming that will someday allow you to see Meryl Streep in pornography and Barack Obama having a celebratory cocktail with Osama bin Laden. You think your Thanksgiving arguments with Uncle Foxnews are fun now? Just you wait.

The problem, of course, is not that people believe these things — although some will — but that far more people will then not believe anything. It’s one reason people grow frustrated with the chilly, cat-lays-the-bothsides-mouse-at-your-feet journalism of today, which is problematic in a world where all the rules have been suspended.

OK, my turkey is beeping and I have to get moving. Happy Sunday, see you soon.

Posted at 9:10 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

59 responses to “Tryptophan hangovers.”

  1. alex said on November 25, 2018 at 9:57 am

    We did unconventional Thanksgiving this year. I made chicken marsala and smoked gouda shrimp and grits to take to gatherings and kept separate dishes of same at home to nosh on all weekend.

    Otherwise, when weather allows, I’ve been out trying to tame my two acres of ass-deep leaves. It rained all day yesterday so I expect it’s all going to be heavy and uncooperative today. I saved the worst terrain for last and now it’s muddy so this should be quite a workout herding leaves in the wind with a backpack blower and trying to keep my balance.

    Our celebrations were free of politics. I think even the Trump supporters are finding life in their fact-free bubble tiresome.

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  2. susan said on November 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

    What? No mention of Melania draped in a skinned Mondrian?

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  3. jcburns said on November 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

    If your turkey is beeping, you may want to check to see if you left your iPhone inside.

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  4. Jeff Borden said on November 25, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    We were invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a former neighbor who now lives in Wilmette. Aside from excellent food and wine, the dinner was enlivened by his neighbors. There was an Italian family and their three kids. He lives in the U.S. as a representative for his family business, which makes 400,000 pizzas per day in an out of the way area between Venice and the Italian Alps, then flash freezes them for delivery worldwide. Those organic pizzas you’re eating from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods are likely Alessio’s doing. The other guest was from Galway, Ireland. He attended with his two kids, but his wife was in Genoa on business. These were some seriously well traveled, well read and well educated diners. Wish I’d recorded some of the conversations.

    As a winter storm bears down on the Chicago area, we are heading off for the matinee performance of Il Travatore at the Lyric Opera this afternoon. At our age, we’re finding matinees work best for us. Next Sunday, it’s a matinee of “The Woman in Black” at the Royal George Theater. I’m trying to find solace from our politics in art, I guess. Verdi’s work will outlast the Orange King’s influence. . .assuming the dumb bastard doesn’t stumble us into a nuclear exchange.

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  5. Icarus said on November 25, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    No matter how the Wolverines do, I win. If they win, my wife is happy. If they lose, my BIL is unhappy.

    I’m pleased with how surprisingly well the Chicago Bears have done this year. And glad I didn’t publish that post on ChicagoNow about them going 7-9 this year, as their victory over Lions on Turkey day means they cannot do less than 8 and 8 although they should get at least 2 or 3 more wins this year and ending their playoff drought. (hope I didn’t just jinx them with this)

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  6. brian stouder said on November 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Melania is a beautiful woman, with an enigmatic 1000-yard gaze.

    I’ve no earthly idea how she puts up with her unfailingly cruel-looking shoes; it serves as the metaphorical key to how she puts up with her empty-suit husband, one suspects.

    One completely unrelated thing I feel compelled to say is that I detest the term “fake news”.

    It strikes me as equivalent to “fake books” or “fake poetry”.

    Our Constitution says

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    So, what is the opposite of “fake news”? Officially Certified news?

    Or – shall we also assault “Fake Religion”?

    IMO, a “free press” gets to publish whatever they see as important and true, and it’s up to you and I to read/listen/think, and decide what we believe….and a robust press will contradict/debate/challenge what is accepted as “true” and/or “untrue” and/or “incomplete” and/or (to look backaward) “muck-raking” or “yellow”…..and this makes “fake news” a non-sensical notion…akin to “fake art” or “fake beauty”

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  7. Heather said on November 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Had a nice traditional Thanksgiving at my cousin’s with barely any political talk, or at least not until certain members had left.

    Then I went to my 30th high school reunion on Friday. I’d avoided all previous reunions, despite living about a half-hour away from my hometown, but I had a good time at my 25th college reunion last year so I decided to go. And it was really fun! I reconnected with some old friends and saw people I hadn’t thought about in years. There were plenty of people I didn’t remember or didn’t care to remember, but that was fine–it was a fairly big crowd and easy to avoid them.

    I had a snarky response all ready for anyone who asked why I wasn’t married etc., and instead like three people said something along the lines of “Smart choice.” Several people also told me I looked exactly the same, but to be fair it was pretty dim in there! I am glad I went.

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  8. Suzanne said on November 25, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    We had an enjoyable holiday. Saw family we don’t see often, had minimal conversation with the very right wing (loves the term libtard) brother-in-law, my brother who is a gun nut didn’t bring up anything controversial so we didn’t have to redirect him, and the food was good, too!
    Now, back to the reality of working and gearing up for the Christmas insanity.

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  9. beb said on November 25, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    I was never a fan of breast meat either Turkey or chicken; too dry and flavorless, needs to be drowned in a lot of gravy.

    It used to be that seeing was believing and that photographic evidence was irrefutable. Not anymore, with computers you can make anything look possible. I hear, though, that there are programs out that can detect photoshoping of a picture. Maybe they can be expanded to catching those deep fake videos.

    I had a moment of schadenfreude reading that J. Sessions may not be able to win back his old Senate seat. Seems the GOP in Alabama are so deep into Trump that they would oppose Sessions because he’s on the outs with Trump, even though Sessions did everything Trump asked of him, except block the Mueller investigation.

    According to one weather map I looked at today, northern Michigan is going to be hit hard with snow but the Detroit area may get an inch or less. Hardly a character-builder. And a good thing because I haven’t gotten gas for the snow blower yet.

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  10. beb said on November 25, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Brian Stouder asks what is the opposite of ‘fake news.’ Still the only one talking about fake news is our dubious president. Obvious the opposite of fake news is State News. Ivestia or Pravada.
    One Means The News and the other The Truth, leading to the Russian witticism — There is no truth in the News and no news in the Truth.

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  11. Deborah said on November 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    We spent some time removing the slat screens from the cabin doors for the winter season, to let the sun in. We store them on the roof. Of course it reveals how dirty the windows in the doors are so I spent more time cleaning the glass.

    Today is our last full day at the cabin this trip. We go back to Santa Fe and then my husband leaves Tues for Chicago. It’s been cold in Abiquiu (but you know, dry cold). It did snow a bit, not much but there’s lots of snow up on the mountains, which makes for beautiful views.

    Our solar battery charger finally completely bit the dust so I can get a new one with a clear conscience. They’ve improved so much since we got ours, I’m looking forward to better connections.

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  12. brian stouder said on November 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    The ice-maker in our ‘fridge gave up the ghost, and Pammy – who is quite adept at these things – hit Uncle Google and found replacement instructions and how-to videos, and ordered a replacement.

    We shall see how this all turns out in the coming days, but I never (ever!) bet against Pam!

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  13. Dexter Friend said on November 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I have been following Michigan football since Bob Ufer was screaming “Meee-she-gunn!” into his radio microphone, and have been to several M-OSU games in both locations, and Saturday’s disaster was the worst yet. I watched on TV and listened to Jim Brandstatter and Dan Dierdorf on radio and the words “cross routes, cross patterns, disastrous, pathetic, disappointing, unbelievable, awful” were used way too many times. 62-39…a killer, and Coach Harbaugh has a full 10 days ahead of him to recruit players…that is going to be tough after the disastrous debacle of Saturday.
    ~ The only thing I missed at the feast was roasted Brussel sprouts, nobody liked them, so we didn’t have any. I did get my fill of cranberries, in a relish with orange peel zest. I love cranberries. My old relatives would never have considered a meal a Thanksgiving dinner without a pot of hot stewed cranberries on the big table. ~ And tonight is part deux , “Escape at Dannemora” on Showtime. Can’t wait. It makes up for the rotten S6 , “House of Cards”. So great with Kevin Spacey, so hollow and boring without him. Comments?

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 26, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Robin Wright is great, but it’s not so much the lack of Spacey as it is the loss of the political maneuvering. That’s what made the first few seasons so enjoyable. Yes, sex; yeah, sudden death on occasion . . . mostly it was the unblinking doublecrossing twist-filled view of how the sausage might be made that made “House of Cards” fun, narrated by the fourth-wall-piercing gaze of Mr. Underwood. It’s not Mrs. Underwood’s fault they went for more of a soap opera with global implications these last two years.

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  15. Suzanne said on November 26, 2018 at 11:11 am

    So much winning!

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  16. Julie Robinson said on November 26, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Are we the only ones who didn’t like House of Cards? Like Mad Men, there just weren’t any characters I wanted to root for.

    Looks like Michigan is taking another body blow in the latest round of GM closings, with two of the five.

    Suzanne beat me to it!

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  17. Sherri said on November 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    For the Hamilton fans among us, deconstructing Satisfied:

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  18. Scout said on November 26, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    We had a lovely gratitude meal with two of our closest friends, followed by a walk to make room for pie. The whole 4 day weekend was really relaxing, actually, starting with The Heart Society concert at the Musical Instrument Museum on Wednesday night. We played tennis, biked, hiked and went to an outdoor art show called Hidden in the Hills in Carefree.

    Melania looked a bit of a mess in that lacy number. The designer photo showed it looking much more fitted on the model. And that Dior coat that Susan linked to was so oversized that she might as well have been wrapped in a wool blanket. The camel color is nice on her, but otherwise, no. Maybe it’s just because I cannot stand her that everything about her rubs me the wrong way.

    Poor Barron. He always looks miserable. And I’ve never seen a less engaged parent than DT. The kid is always trudging 10 paces behind his dad, who seems oblivious to his presence.

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  19. David C. said on November 26, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    GM never built competitive sedans so they’re throwing up the white flag to Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and KIA. They’ll probably piss away a ton of money chasing autonomous vehicles which will be five years away for the next twenty, at least. I seriously doubt GM will survive the next rapidly coming recession intact.

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  20. Deborah said on November 26, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Have you guys seen the blood red Xmas trees in the whitehouse? What’s up with that Melania?

    Someone on Twitter referred to Melania as Malaria, which made me laugh out loud. Brian, I realize she’s a beautiful woman on the outside, but if she supports all of the hideous things her husband does like gassing toddlers and babies at the border she’s got a heart as black as coal.

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  21. Jolene said on November 26, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Melania’s horrible trees are getting the treatment on social media. Here’s the Handmaid’s Tale version.

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  22. alex said on November 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Even though I was never likely to buy another GM car after the lemons they screwed me with in the past, I’m sorry to see them dropping what looked like some respectable wheels. In addition to the three Chevy models, they’re also cutting Buick’s and Cadillac’s flagship sedans.

    I’m in no hurry to buy an SUV or a crossover. I’m surprised that’s all anybody wants. I think they’re sort of ungainly and I’m always seeing them on their sides or upside down in accidents because people still try to drive them as if they were sports cars.

    Both Ford and GM say they’ve lost about a billion dollars each on Trump’s tariffs.

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  23. LAMary said on November 26, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Brian, I just can’t be complimentary about Melania. That 1000 yard stare is not enigmatic. It’s vacant. Or maybe it’s distraction while mentally counting the days until she can divorce that jackass’s ass. I think she’s mercenary and shallow and as dislikable as her stunningly awful husband. No beauty can make up for the damage that clan is doing to this country.

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  24. Sherri said on November 26, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    To excuse Melania is to treat her as a child, without agency, options, or any brains. I see no reason to do so.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on November 27, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Be Best, Dexter…do NOT write what you feel in your pea-brain regarding Mrs. Trump, do not do it. It’s 2018, fer crissakes…get woke, it’s the year of Me Too, not a time to revert to petty snarkiness. You are better that that, after all, are you not, Dexter? So what if you think only a moron would decorate the White House like that with all those damn trees. So what if you think Mrs. Trump is an idiot, you have no proof of that. Shape up and give Melania a compliment, dammitt. Oh, shut the fuck up, alternative Dexter, she’s a c… “I said do not do that!” OK. Sheesh. I now Be Best. Truuuly….

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  26. alex said on November 27, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Gotta love those Handmaid’s Tale Christmas trees…

    Her taste in decorating is no more ghastly than her taste in men, really. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about Melania.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2018 at 8:15 am

    So, Detroiters, help me out here. Sedans are going away entirely? We’re all going to buy SUVs or pickup trucks? Or are the US* automakers just conceding the market segment to Honda and Nissan?

    What I wonder about is if something is positioning behind the scenes like the amazing theater seat transition — within a single year, every chain, in every multiplex in the country, including Heath, Ohio ripped out all of the row seats with the folding lower part and put in the electronic recliners. All of them. Across the country. Somehow an entire marketplace was coordinating and situating themselves to where the transformation happened so quickly, at least from where I sit, it was stunning. That’s stuck with me as I wonder about things like autonomous pods or self-driving trucks . . . is that what’s coming not in increments, but is about to suddenly happen, and the only leading indicator is the Big 3 wordlessly backing out of the sedan market?

    Or is there some other more obvious angle here I’m just missing?

    *US is really an odd label today, given that Honda’s making cars in Marysville and my Ford was mostly made in Canada. But anyhow.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

    What Sherri said, though I also think Melania is in over her head. She’s not well-educated and has lived her life in a series of bubbles. So why hasn’t she hired an adequately large staff to assist her? She puts up ridiculous decorations, then is a no-show for introducing them, saying they speak for themselves. It’s just asking for ridicule.

    We had a 1986 Olds Cutlass and a 1987 Corolla. The Olds cost four times the Toyota and repairs were probably 20x. We passed the Corolla on to a young couple at age 19, when the Olds had long ago sputtered to a halt. Nope, we’ll never buy another GM anything.

    These days I drive a Honda CRV, which is not prone to rollovers. I like it because I step down when I get out and don’t have to twist my bad left knee like I do when getting out of a car. I like it for a lot of other reasons too, but that was the big one for me. Besides, after 15 years of minivans, it does feel like a sports car!

    Edited to add that the movie theater we went to Saturday didn’t have those recliners. Of course, it also didn’t have heat, but that’s another story.

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  29. Peter said on November 27, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Good Morning All,

    I try not to be a conspiracy theorist or peddle bizarre ideas, but I read two comments on Paul Manafort’s new troubles, and it made me think.

    One person said that what could have happened is that Mueller’s team fed Manafort false information on Trump; Manafort told it to Trump’s lawyers, and trumps written answers contains the false information, proving coordinated obstruction of justice.

    A farther out – but more interesting – explanation offered by someone is that Manafort’s answers contradicts Trump’s written responses. Mueller’s team brings this as evidence to the court to demonstrate that Manafort is lying – knowing the whole time that Manafort is being honest – and puts Trump’s lies in the public record.

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  30. Joe Kobiela said on November 27, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Simple fact is the big 3 loose money on small and midsize cars, they make a load on SUV and pickups, close to 10,000 per unit so eliminate money lossing cars retain money making trucks, pay the fine if you don’t meet fleetwide mpg it’s less than what you will loose on cars. Less manpower to build trucks also.
    Pilot Joe

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  31. AndreaJ said on November 27, 2018 at 9:49 am

    @Julie at #28 – after 14 years of driving a minivan, I also just downsized to a Chevy Equinox in May. I missed the extra room when our family of 4 drove from PA to FL in June, but otherwise, liking it very much. My husband drives an ’09 Chevy Cobalt that has 288K miles on it and has served us well. I wish GM hadn’t replaced it with the Cruze, which is going away now as well.

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  32. Dorothy said on November 27, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Our furnace punked out on us last Tuesday night; the company with whom we have a service agreement came out Wednesday and determined the draft motor was bad. We were lucky it didn’t catch fire, said the technician. Part was ordered but bad news: wouldn’t come in until Monday. We moved into our son’s house at their invitation with our dog Nestle, and our neighbors’ dog Woody. (THey went out of town for Thanksgiving and could not take the dog) This was a miracle of sorts because our daughter-in-law is allergic and she’s never extended an invitation for us to bring the dog when we visit. The sweet girl took Claritin all weekend, sneezed off and on anyway, and we got to have extended time with our granddaughter. Who cheered mightily during the second half (she was napping during the first half) of the OSU/Michigan game every time a touchdown was scored. It was a riot.

    Came back home to the chilly house on Sunday, built a fire in the fireplace in the family room, and used a space heater in the bedroom to keep us warm while we slept. Come Monday morning though they told us the part was back ordered and would now come TUESDAY. Now we were MAD. It was 58 degrees on the first floor when I came downstairs this morning.

    But now I’m happy to report that while I’m typing this entry my husband texted and we now have heat. $790 later. Thanks be to God. I tried not to be too cranky about this but it’s hard when the toilet seat is so cold and you have no choice but to make contact with it.

    Brian I absolutely detest the phrase ‘fake news’. Makes my blood boil every time I hear it.

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  33. Connie said on November 27, 2018 at 11:19 am

    We just added a Chevy Traverse to our Chevy Cruze with hand controls. Being a passenger in the Traverse reminds me of our old Grand Caravan in terms of feel and space.

    We surprised ourselves by buying an SUV, and picked the specific used Traverse we did because it had running boards and I can actually get in it without a stool.

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  34. Sherri said on November 27, 2018 at 11:28 am

    My parents have had nothing but SUVs and pickups for years now just because of the ease of getting in and out compared to sedans.

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  35. ROGirl said on November 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I think they’re going to make the Cruz in Mexico. The Malibu is still in production in Kansas city. The supply chain is truly global. A vehicle can be assembled in the US by any global oem with components made in the US or Mexico from companies that are Chinese, Japanese, French or German, or components made overseas by American companies.

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  36. beb said on November 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    We switched to an Equinox last year. The one thing I don’t like about it is that its bucket seats have such a high edge that it’s hard to get out of the car without crushing my nuts.

    The Chevy Cruize used to be the Cobalt which used to be the Aveo none of them seemed to sell well hence the name changes. I’ve heard elsewhere that GM can’t make any money selling the Cruize. I have no idea why that should be. I’m sure most (conservative) economists would blame aging workforce, retirees, pensions, health benefits and aging infrastructure but someone that never seems to be a problem for the foreign mfrs building cars in the US.

    The sudden and rapid switch to recliner seating in theaters probably reflects how consolidated the theater business is. One or two companies decide this is how to get more customers in their buildings and thus it becomes a national movement. It seems like you lose a lot of seating capacity going to recliners then again I haven’t been to a crowded theater since, I don’t know — taking my daughter to see the Harry Porter movies?

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  37. Jakash said on November 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    I haven’t read a Maureen Dowd column in months, but stumbled across her Thanksgiving piece and decided to give it a shot, mainly because of the “vacation in Monument Valley” aspect. I suppose the fact that it hasn’t been referred to here, either by The Proprietress or anybody else, may indicate that folks aren’t interested in reading about her relationship with her conservative family, but I thought it was pretty well done. This quote from a Garry Wills book was the highlight for me, because I think it’s a compelling, succinct description, though I never cared much for John Wayne.

    “He embodies the American myth. The archetypal American is a displaced person — arrived from a rejected past, breaking into a glorious future, on the move, fearless himself, feared by others, a killer but cleansing the world of things that ‘need killing,’ loving but not bound down by love, rootless but carrying the Center in himself.”

    She gives her Kavanaugh-buddy, Trump-voting brother his say without much rebuttal, which is annoying, but the way she simply lays out her reality of having to deal with people she loves who have ideas that she does not worked for me, overall. I don’t need to respond to the brother’s “end justifies the means” “Trump is misrepresented by the media” bullshit myself, because a stellar comment from a regular NYT commenter-guy does it beautifully:

    “Dear Maureen, To your brother Kevin and the rest, 1)Lies are not arguments. 2)Hate is not an opinion. 3)Ignorance is not a position. 4)Science is not political. 5)Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are not ‘styles’ of management. 6)Hate is not freedom of speech. 7)The Constitution is based on separation of powers between the three branches, not a unitary all powerful dictator. 8)Rule of law has something to do with following laws. 9)Judges are beholden to following the law, not the Federalist society. 10)The ends never justify the means when the means are our system of laws. Now as far as their visits to church. 1)Basic morality is dictated in the Ten Commandments. Trump breaks them daily. 2)Your saviour, Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of God to Catholics preached love, understanding, forgiveness, charity and compassion. All of which are absent from Trump’s life, his policies and politics. 3)My Jewish religion teaches me that a righteous life is achieved not by just what we say or claim to believe, but but what we do, how we live our lives, how we treat each other. Trump is devoid of all behaviors of goodness and righteousness. 4)As I understand it, humility is a cornerstone of Christianity. Trump has no humility. He loves himself more than the Pope love God. 5) Claiming to oppose abortion does not, in any way, give anyone the right, political or religious, to throw away all of the tenets of our Judeo/Christian morality. Trump throws them all away.”

    I see that this comment itself is almost 3000 “characters.” Ouch! Sorry about that!

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  38. ROGirl said on November 27, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Aveo begat Sonic, Cobalt begat Cruze.

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  39. Dexter Friend said on November 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    car report: My longtime email, chatroom, and facebook pal from Cape Coral, Belinda, found her birth tribe and her entire tribe family about 10 years ago after she had been away since birth in 1967, given for adoption. A big story about her was printed in a local FL paper after reuniting…so she had grown up through her teens never driving on ice, snow, sleet. She and her husband the Fort Myers cop fly up to a small house in New York near the tribe frequently, and they bought a used Honda Element to keep there in New York. Belinda hit black ice a few days ago and skidded sideways, hit the berm gravel and flipped the Honda Element upside down. The roof stayed perfectly intact, Belinda suffered only the average stiff neck and is sore as hell all over her body. More than likely we who live north of Florida feel her pain.

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  40. Suzanne said on November 27, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Davis Brooks at his highest level of dumbassedness

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  41. David C. said on November 27, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    My own leading economic indicator shows the economy is headed into the shitter. I was driving down to Milwaukee last weekend and noticed that probably one out of ten billboards is empty. They’re usually almost full. I haven’t seen that many vacant signs since just before Bush flushed the economy. But my 401(k) is safely in cash. I’m not going to ride it down into the trough again.

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  42. Suzanne said on November 27, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I feel that way, too, David C. Like we are headed for a big downward slide economocally. We are meeting with our financial guy in a couple of weeks and I think the plan is to get as much as we can out of the market. I know several people who have taken a bunch out of their investment accounts and put the money into straight savings. Lousy interest, they say, but at least they won’t lose what they have.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2018 at 9:25 am

    The Hamtramck plant GM is planning to close isn’t one of the ancient dinosaurs as I’d thought, but rolled out its first vehicle in 1985. This is a very sad story:

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  44. Deborah said on November 28, 2018 at 9:26 am

    David C, your indicator for upcoming financial problems being blank billboards is interesting. Noticing loss in nature is similar this NYT article about enormous insect losses is long but very interesting My husband and I had a conversation on our summer road trip about about how few insects were hitting our windshield. Also in the 18 years we’ve had our land in Abiquiu we’ve noticed dwindling coyote and nighthawk populations. Scary.

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  45. Jeff Borden said on November 28, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I owned my only V-8 car, a 1974 Plymouth Satellite, when the Arab oil embargo made fuel expensive and scarce. While the drivetrain of my Plymouth was solid –a 318 cubic inch small block and a smooth three speed auto– the build quality was horrendous. On the passenger door, for example, there was a one-inch stripe of bare metal, where the panels simply didn’t fit. All the welds were shitty. It was rusting within three years. I purchased a 1978 Honda Accord and have never looked back.

    Friends with domestic cars say they are much better than the old days. My mom and dad loved their Ford Taurus and it gave them no trouble mechanically. A couple of other friends own various crossovers and SUVs built by American car companies and love them. I’m an anomaly. I prefer sedans and hatchbacks.

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  46. Suzanne said on November 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Excellent comment on the WaPo Trump interview:
    “Presidents rarely are fully responsible for a nicely humming economy when we have one or a tanking economy when it’s taking a dive. Our economy is massive, probably one of the largest comparatively the world has known. One president cannot by him or herself, simply move it in any direction. Our economy had largely recovered from the banking meltdown of 2008 when Obama left office and handed things off to Trump who, in his usual fusillade of bald-faced lies, claimed he was being handed a mess. He was not handed a mess. He was handed an extremely healthy, humming economy which should have been left alone. Any movement, any correction, would have been relatively small and expected.

    But Trump, with his arrogant, ignorant ineptitude, is the type not to do that. His sycophant base bought the fraud that Trump is some sort of business genius, believing the fantasy offered by Trump’s “reality” propaganda TV series. Six bankruptcies argue quite convincingly otherwise.

    With the help of Trump’s “trade guy” Peter Navarro who’s been easily exposed as an ignorant fraud himself, Trump imposed a bunch of idiotically conceived an unnecessary tariffs which is very likely a huge factor in GM’s recent announcement that it will close six plants and lay off 14,000 of its workforce. This is just the first of many moves by American companies who are being hurt badly by these tariffs.

    For once, an administration is very likely to have a huge effect on our massive economy by simply and with arrogantly inept hubris, driving it straight into the gutter where it will likely be around the time of the elections in 2020.

    When these negative things happen, Trump of course will blame everyone else just as easily as he takes all the credit when things go well. It’ll be Obama’s fault. Or Hillary’s. Or the Dems. Or the Fed. Who knows who else he will dream up. His base will buy it because critical thinking and healthy skepticism remain beyond them. They’re a besotted cult, immune to facts.”

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  47. Sherri said on November 28, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I hope Jeffrey Epstein rots in jail, and if any of his powerful buddies were complicit in his crimes or getting him off, that they join him. Yes, including Bill Clinton.

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  48. dull_old_man said on November 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Deborah @44: The coyotes may be relocating to Chicago. Last Saturday I saw one at Jackson Park golf course. Its eyes scared me–it looked straight at me for two seconds, then dismissed me and went back to whatever it was eating. I skipped that hole and most of the next one.

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  49. Suzanne said on November 28, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Wow, Sherri. I just skimmed the Epstein article and how is this guy NOT rotting in jail??

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  50. Sherri said on November 28, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    High-powered defense team, including Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz. Girls who were young, poor, and with little family support; in other words, disposable. Powerful friends, whether they were implicated in his crimes or not, whether they put pressure on anybody or not, their very existence makes prosecutors tread lightly. An ambitious prosecutor, now Secretary of Labor, who recognized that moving up would be better served by making this go away quietly than by prosecuting it.

    Protecting the powerful: the same way this stuff has been handled for far too long, from the Catholic Church to Penn State to Harvey Weinstein to Bill Cosby.

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  51. beb said on November 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    The Hammtramck factory, at 30 years had probably reached its end of lifespan. They don’t build factories to last forever like they used to. Lordstown is older but I suspect was renovated several times.

    It’s troubling to me when a car company decides to abandon some whole section of their market. Some people like SUVs because their easy to get out of while others dislike them because they’re hard to get into. Some people (mostly the elderly find sedans had to get out of because they sit low to the ground but a lot of people have no problem getting into or out of a sedan. And because they’re not based on a truck platform sedans tend to ride smoother. And for any number of reasons sedans have better gas mileage. So why would GM and Ford get out of the sedan business? Is it because they can’t make any money selling sedans or is it because they can’t jack the price of a sedan up to make a $10,000 profit per car? And why can Japanese companies make a profit selling their sedans — which they make in America?

    It all leaves me with the feeling that GM and Ford have entered a deathspiral. They couldn’t compete in the sub-compact market and have abandoned it. They couldn’t compete in the compact market and are abandoning that. Now they are abandoning the entire sedan market, Meanwhile the Japanese, Korean and soon the Chinese manufacturers will compete in the remaining markets truck and SUV markets. When where will that leave American car companies?

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  52. Sherri said on November 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    SUVs don’t have to be built on a truck platform. Honda/Acura builds theirs on a sedan platform, and yes, the ride is noticeably smoother.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Fucking Trump screamed that if the plants that build vehicles were deemed too old to be productive then by-god HE would MAKE GM build new plants. Also, he can’t cut subsidies to GM…that process has to clear several levels. But people believe his bullshit. Then and now.~~ I never worked at any Big Three plants, but at Dana and later Eaton, we supplied clutches to Ford Louisville Truck Plant. My niece has 22 years in at Lordstown now, through thick and thin, lean times. She now becomes a GM Gypsy.

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  54. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    He’ll make them build those plants as soon as Mexico pays for the wall, amiright?

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  55. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    5:35 AM, bolted upright in bed, looked out window…nothing to be seen. 5 single small arms fire shots rang out. I know the difference between backfiring car, concussion fireworks, and pistol fire. This was gunfire. My neighbor saw the culprits, 22 degrees, riding bicycles, firing a handgun or maybe all 3 had weapons. It’s now my concern…neighbor said he knows them and “I will take care of it.” Well,my California dream is in ashes and smoke, I have lost interest in Florida, Mrs. Dexter aka Carla Lee hates winter altogether…still, I’m ready to leave this shit.

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  56. beb said on November 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Dexter, move to Detroit. There’s so much gunshots at night that you’ll soon forget all about them.

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  57. alex said on November 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    All it takes is for gas to go back to 4 bucks a gallon and GM will be sucking an egg.

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  58. David C. said on November 28, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    GM, Ford and FCA (although when Chrysler and Dodge dropped their sedans it was probably a relief to everybody) all seem to have the mentality of a company I used to work for. If a product they made wasn’t #1 or #2 in the market they dropped it – even if it was making money. So half the production space sat empty being heated, lit, and maintained because some idiot MBA decided you have to get out of products that make money just because they weren’t the market leaders.

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  59. basset said on November 29, 2018 at 6:30 am

    More gunfire: finished my two-evening concealed carry class last night with a perfect score on the shooting portion of the test, now I have to go get photographed & fingerprinted & pay yet another fee before I can carry legally.
    Started yesterday out in the deer woods, 19 degrees in the tree stand. Didn’t get one this time.

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