Memo day.

With just a few exceptions, our life has improved since we cut the cable cord a while back. We’re not missing much great TV, and don’t feel obligated to watch, to name but one example, George H.W. Bush’s funeral. The best stuff is always streaming somewhere – that’s how I took in the Kavanaugh testimony – and the best of the best will live forever on Twitter, or until it is GIF’d and meme’d and otherwise enters the memory hole of the internet.

I thought of this while not-watching the Bush funeral. I guess I missed some eulogies that were OK, but ultimately, I wasn’t a GHWB fan, so I’m not going to invest a few hours watching. (This sentiment doesn’t apply to the current POTUS’ funeral, whenever it may be. That one I will pregame, watch and maybe watch again.) Ultimately, he was a public figure with strengths and weaknesses, and people are going to have opinions about that. Most of them are dumb. Next.

One thing I’ll give him credit for: The Americans With Disabilities Act. I did some reporting about that one its…10th anniversary, maybe? Around there. As I recall from the obits, the story about how Bush came to take up the cause came after the parents of disabled children were losing some key benefit in a sunset clause, and complained to him about it. He found them, and their children, and the disabled adults who supported them, impressive. That is very true, and if it’s something he should have already known, well, it’s never too late to learn something.

I recall interviewing a man born with incomplete limbs — one good arm and three flippers, basically. He was a hoot. He walked with prosthetics and could do anything with his good hand. Among the jobs in his work history: Repo man. I asked him about that one.

“The big secret is that it’s not nearly as exciting as you’ve been led to believe,” he said. “Ninety percent of people just give you the keys.”

“And the other 10 percent?”

“Well, I tried to get a foot in the door,” he said. “Then they’d slam it on my foot, and I’d say, ‘Lady, you can do that all day. It’s plastic and I can’t feel it.’ Then they give you the keys.”

Like I said earlier this week: I love to talk to people about their jobs. Especially interesting ones.

The ADA is monumental legislation that opened new worlds to people who have to navigate it differently than most of us. (And yes, it probably wouldn’t pass today, because a business might be burdened by it.) I came away wishing every house could be build along the principles of…I forget the term. Deborah would know. It’s the term of art to describe wider doorways, lower countertops, levers instead of knobs and the rest of it, the sort of easily incorporated modifications that would have kept my parents in their house for years longer than they ended up staying. I expect the Trump administration will overturn that one any minute now.

Today is Manafort Memo Day, right? I think I’m going to just step aside and wait for that one, and I hope it’s a good one. POTUS has already gone a little nuts on Twitter this morning, so I expect he’s at full pucker right now.

Two bits of bloggage today, both from the NYT and I apologize for that, but they’re both good:

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — During more than five years as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Victorina Morales has made Donald J. Trump’s bed, cleaned his toilet and dusted his crystal golf trophies. When he visited as president, she was directed to wear a pin in the shape of the American flag adorned with a Secret Service logo.

Because of the “outstanding” support she has provided during Mr. Trump’s visits, Ms. Morales in July was given a certificate from the White House Communications Agency inscribed with her name.

Quite an achievement for an undocumented immigrant housekeeper.

Boom. Also, this, a lovely look at Michelle Obama’s book, beyond the tear-into-the-index-and-find-out-what-she-said-about-Trump approach of the first days. Which is to say, the writer actually read the thing.

Posted at 9:55 am in Current events |

34 responses to “Memo day.”

  1. Deborah said on December 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I think you are referring to universal design, although there might be another name for it

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  2. Icarus said on December 7, 2018 at 11:36 am

    TOD: isn’t it funny how cars are repossessed but houses not so much?

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  3. beb said on December 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    I wouldn’t get to invested in today’s judicial news. It probabky won’t happen and if it does happen we probably won;t get to read the juicy details.

    Another county in the North Carolina congressional race is reporting suspicious absentee voting today. The state Republicans are willing to have fresh elections, probably thinking they can steal that one, too. Personally I think there is enough evidence of cheating that the election commission ought to just award the seat to the Democrat. Why give a cheater a second chance? Elections are supposed to have consequences. I think getting tossed out on your ass for cheating ought to be one of them.

    And in light of the shenanigans going on in Wisconsin and Michigans lame-duck legislative sessions I think it’s time to ban all post-election sessions of the legislature.

    Or maybe just ban the Republican Party who have long sense dropped any belief on demoncray, rule of law or fair play.

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  4. Brandon said on December 7, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    George Bush also stopped the bombing of Kaho’olawe in October 1990.

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  5. jcburns said on December 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Also, simply, accessibility. (Web/user interface design also has this as an area of concentration.)

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  6. David C. said on December 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Major headline fail.

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  7. Deborah said on December 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I’m spending another Friday checking the Internet every five minutes to see if the Mueller filings have dropped yet. I don’t know why I do that, last time a filing dropped it happened way later in the day, into the evening actually. I need a distraction.

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  8. Sherri said on December 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    As bad as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was, Barr is worse.

    Your daily reminder that yes, it can always get worse.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on December 7, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Isabel Wilkinson’s review was so good that I ended up reading most of it out loud last night. Has anyone here read the book yet? As usual, I’m waiting for a library copy.

    And I’m still waiting for more from Wilkerson herself, whose very fine The Warmth of Other Suns remains one of my favorite books.

    I’ve written before that my dad lost an arm in a farm accident when he was a child. I only learned recently that it kept him out of a lot of jobs, which sounds dumb, but I only remember him as confident and successful.

    Mom found a box of resumes and cover letters, along with responses he’d gotten, all negative. The resume includes his amputation along with other information that no one could ask for these days, like his overall health and church membership. It’s kind of heart-breaking to read.

    Apparently he wanted to break into TV news but no one thought viewers would watch a one-armed man. Instead he worked for newspapers before his grandpa’s good friend brought him on at his hometown radio station. And the beauty standard for TV has only lessened a bit.

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  10. Scout said on December 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Cohen’s going to the slammer.

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  11. Deborah said on December 7, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Scout thanks for the link. My husband and I bumped up our martini hour to distract ourselves. Now waiting for the other Mueller shoe to fall.

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  12. Suzanne said on December 7, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Even good old boy Rex has had enough and fights back:

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  13. Deborah said on December 8, 2018 at 10:16 am

    I love seeing all of the instant Individual-1 jokes and photoshopped images on the internet right now. This is what it was absolutely made for.

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  14. jcburns said on December 8, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Julie, some things have changed. Miles O’Brien anchors the PBS NewsHour occasionally, and he lost his left arm in 2014.

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  15. alex said on December 8, 2018 at 11:36 am

    My husband just came back from the bank, didn’t stay to finish his business. He was a Wells Fargo customer. If you hadn’t heard, Wells Fargo is being forced to sell its banks in Indiana to a bank from Michigan called Flagstar, and the transition has been anything but seamless as had been promised. Outraged customers have been waiting in long lines for hours to get their accounts reestablished (or closed). I’ve seen my banks go through a million mergers over the years and never had to go to any trouble. This one’s a real shit show.

    After only a few minutes in line, Hubs walked out when a woman started screaming obscenities at a hispanic man waiting in line, telling him to take his “filthy ass back to Mexico” and such, and then other customers joined in to gang up on the poor guy. Hubs was afraid all hell was going to break loose and skedaddled the hell out of there. I think he ought to go open a new account elsewhere.

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    • nancy said on December 8, 2018 at 11:40 am

      God, that’s appalling. Someone should have kicked her ass.

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  16. annie said on December 8, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    And other customers joined in?? I can’t imagine this happening here in California; I would hope there would be some defenders in the line, but maybe I’m wrong. They’ll probably all go to their church’s Christmas pageant tonite and sing “peace on earth”.

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  17. alex said on December 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I wish he’d had the presence of mind to video the ordeal and publicly shame those people and that lousy fucking bank too. From what he tells me, they were all sitting on folding chairs along a wall. A man got up from his chair and left the building. The woman didn’t move down. The hispanic man came in and sat down in the first empty chair he saw and that’s when the woman went berserk on him for not understanding that there was a line.

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  18. Dave said on December 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Alex, we left Wells Fargo a long time ago, when it seemed to us, anyway, that they changed their policies from month to month, so much that the bank officers couldn’t keep up with the current policies. We went and opened accounts at the Lake City Bank, which might be a bit farther from you than you’d like (Dupont Road, west of Coldwater) and we’ve been happy with them, so much that although we now live in Florida, we still maintain an account there, easy to do in this modern age. I think that ugly scene would have been the last straw.

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  19. Brian stouder said on December 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Alex, that strikes me as equal-parts awful and terrifying. The hate and hostility – aimed at a fellow customer stuck in the same damned line!! – is text-book irrational prejudice/scapegoating/ignorance. One thing I will add about the ongoing Wells Fargo/Flagstar debacle here in Fort Wayne is that Pam and I were also customers there. Months ago, Pam moved us to another bank, thus dodging what has turned out to be an epic failure (the hours-long bank lines look like nothing so much as a 1930’s run on the bank/bank failure) In the meanwhile, the bank we moved to began offering a $300 incentive for new customers, and Pam asked them (via email) what about us? And. – we’re now $300 richer, and never had to stand in the lines. By way of saying, I’ve no idea why a person as smart as Pam ever settled for a person like me!

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  20. Sherri said on December 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    How disgusting! And what a failure by the bank, to do nothing while a customer is being abused.

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  21. Jakash said on December 8, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    There are a lot of takes like this making the rounds, but I’ll go with OhNoSheTwitnt’s:

    “Prosecutors: We have found significant evidence of Trump colluding with Russia.

    Trump: Prosecutors have found no evidence of me colluding with Russia.

    News: Trump says prosecutors have found no evidence of him colluding with Russia.”

    After 2 years and literally thousands of presidential lies, how can this nonsense continue to take place?

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  22. Deborah said on December 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Alex, what a fiasco, that poor guy. Maybe someone got a video of it.

    That bank situation sounds fishy.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on December 8, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Flagstar is the shoulder-strap advertiser on Detroit Pistons’ jerseys. I was wondering who the fuck they were.

    Sad update…attempting to jump a paywall here… Auburn Star reports: ” Man pleads guilty to 1988 killing of 8-year-old girl
    Dec 8, 2018

    FORT WAYNE (AP) — An Indiana man has pleaded guilty to the 1988 abduction, rape and killing of an 8-year-old Fort Wayne girl.

    John D. Miller, of Grabill, pleaded guilty Friday to murder and child molestation charges in long-unsolved killing of April Tinsley. Miller was arrested in July and had been scheduled to stand trial in February, but he’s now due to be sentenced Dec. 31 in Allen County Superior Court.

    A plea agreement calls for the 59-year-old Miller to serve 80 years in prison. ” I say sentence him to death, but maybe, if not, to a straight no-parole 40 years. Then it would be “Give me 98 and a year and we’ll call it even Johnny 99.” (apologies to Bruce Springsteen)

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  24. kayak woman said on December 8, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I use the same bank (sort of) that I started at as a teenager with my first checking account. It was a small town yooperland bank then (my dad was the president as was his father before him) and it got bought up by a holding company that eventually “morphed” into PNC. I think the last time I have needed to actually set foot in a physical bank was maybe three years ago. I do everything online now. So not sure how important it is to be close to a bank these days. If I really need cash, I can always get it when I pay for groceries at Meijer or wherever.

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  25. kayak woman said on December 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Also… I am appalled at the bank customer situation described in the comments above. I wonder what I would have done as a bystander. I’d like to think I’d have stood up to the woman. But not sure. I do get braver as I get older!

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  26. Jeff Borden said on December 8, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Is there anyone else around here who finds Gary Abernathy, the sage of Hillsboro, Ohio, absolutely infuriating? His latest column in the Washington Post blasts the media for still not understanding Trump Country, where gas is barely $2 per gallon, holiday spending is expected to increase by 3 percent and no one gives a flying fuck about his lies, his corruption, his cowardice and his ties to Vladimir Putin. No, sayeth Gary, Trumpsters “see a president who keeps campaign promises on court appointments, trade renegotiations, illegal immigration and deregulation.”

    Pardon me, Mr. Small Town Americana, while I projectile vomit. Not once does this Howard Sprague wannabe talk about how willingly, how happily and how fervently so many ‘Muricans embrace the Orange King because he hates the same people they hate. Not once does he mention the heinous treatment of immigrant children, housed in tent cities and for-profit detention centers because their parents had the temerity to seek a better life here. Not once does he mention the diminishment of American power on the world stage. Or the billions of dollars the tweets drain from the markets every time the Orange King has a brain fart. No, it’s all the fault of the media coastal elites, who just don’t “get” your average tRump fan, and over-educated liberals.

    Sorry, Gary, but I think you are full of reeking, stinking shit. And this is my response.

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  27. Colleen said on December 8, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    I bank with USAA. Haven’t set foot in an actual bank in more than 20 years.Their online and phone customer service is excellent.
    The Orange Menace and his ilk are making it ok for hateful ignoramuses to slither out from under their rocks and spew their hatred in public. The fact that others piled on instead of sticking up for that poor man makes me despair for what we have become.
    I have a question….we keep hearing that Mueller has all this evidence against Trump, that Don Jr is about to be indicted, yet this has not happened. What’s the holdup? I’m sure there is a good reason, I’m just not smart enough or informed enough or whatever to know the strategy behind the timing.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on December 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    jc, I just looked up Miles O’Brien and was very encouraged to learn about him. He probably wears a prosthetic, which Dad refused to do. In his day they were just hooks, and he soon became so proficient with his stump that he didn’t want one.

    The Flagstar/Wells Fargo thing has been a debacle all around, made worse by the numbers–they had 25% of all banking customers in the county. I think it’s leftover from the days when they were Lincoln Bank. We’ve used credit unions our entire married life and I’m always puzzled that they aren’t more popular.

    Dave, my mom does her Fort Wayne banking at that exact branch of Lake City and the people who work there are truly lovely. She gets confused filling out the forms (she can’t really see them all that well) and they are not only patient with her, but somehow don’t make it obvious that they are being patient with her. That’s a rare thing and worth valuing.

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  29. Sherri said on December 8, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I think Time should name Individual 1 Person of the Year.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on December 9, 2018 at 1:40 am

    A woman transitioning from a man has my brother’s workplace in a tizzy, as Granny use to say. On hormones and already having developed female breasts, she still works in her men’s work clothes and work boots and her gender confuses people, and she has been raising hell because she perceives she is being stared at, and my brother was challenged about this by a friend of the woman. The superviser thought she was a man and called her “young man” and she screamed at him “I am not a young man, Dude!” Then work ceased and the general manager huddled all the workers together, minus the woman and one friend of hers, to review diversity policy, even though 10 days ago the company put everyone through a 4-day diversity training program. Again, all workers had to sign more papers stating they understood diversity + acceptance. In my day, anything went in regards to these situation in non-union workshops…now, these workplaces are scared shitless of lawsuits…do they really care about a person trans-ing , when this woman just started the job with the business 2 weeks ago? Maybe…maybe a couple people, but I don’t have that much faith in people in 2018…nah, they’d rather make jokes like all the tired bullshit Caitlyn Jenner went through.

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  31. Deborah said on December 9, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Sherri, good one.

    In about an hour we head out to the airport to go to St. Louis for a few days. We’re meeting some old friends tonight at our favorite restaurant there, Bar Italia in the Central West End. I’m kind of bummed because I got a bad haircut the day I got back from NM. I love the woman who cuts my hair, she usually does a good job, but this time it’s waaayyyy too short. We’re going to see some people that we haven’t seen in a while, so I want to look my best (older sure, but I can’t do anything about that) and now I have this bad hair. Sigh.

    My friend who lives in Paris has suggested that we might not want to go there at this time, as riots continue. That’s not going to stop us though. The riots are mostly only on Saturdays, so we’re going out to our friend’s house in the suburbs on that day. We’re staying on the left bank and most of the riots are on the right so maybe we can avoid problems. We will get there on the 19th, hopefully things will have calmed down by then, but I guess it could get worse.

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  32. Deborah said on December 9, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I read this article this morning, it’s not new but I hadn’t heard of this case before about a young woman named Reality Winner (now there’s a name I would have remembered if I’d heard of it before) who was a whistle blower about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. She’s a veteran and had security clearance while she worked for an Intelligence dept contractor when she passed some files on to The Intercept and then got busted I thought it was interesting, and surprised I hadn’t heard of it before.

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  33. Ann said on December 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    I just have to add my own repo man story. Client applying for disability benefits. AIDS, but not too sick, and a serious personality disorder. Prior work history–repo man. Additional evidence of personality disorder–more than once walked into a police precinct and started swinging at cops. One of the criteria for whether you can do “gainful employment in the national economy” is the ability to accept criticism from supervisors. We did get him benefits.

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