What day is it?

I wrote this on Wednesday:

Ah, the midweek. I worked the super-early shift on Wednesday this week, because the person who usually does it texted me at noon and confessed she’d just had a 16-oz cappuccino, and knew a normal bedtime would be impossible. If only I could be that in touch with my own body. Insomnia stalks me like Jack the Ripper, sneaking out of the fog and laying me low for no good reason.

Like last night. Awake at 3:30 a.m., never really got back to sleep. No worries. I feel fine.

But now I’ve been staring at this screen, with a few breaks for this and that, for 14 hours. I’m knackered, I tell you.

And after I did, I thought, shit, I really have absolutely nothing to say, closed the laptop and watched an episode of “Killing Eve.” And now I have to say this: “Killing Eve” is a very good show, and Sandra Oh is just a revelation in it.

That concludes what I have to say about it, and pretty much everything else.

OK, not really. It’s been a busy news week for our household. Alan’s had the auto show, which stretches across the weekend before and into tonight, when we’ll get dressed in what’s inevitably described as “finery” and go to the Charity Preview. Yeah, I got a new dress this year. Sue me. I like nice dresses.

And then things will settle down. At least, I hope so. In the meantime, I’m giving you guys a new thread, with some new material. Which includes…

Oh god, there’s so much, I can’t even get close to it. I started writing this when the fast-food banquet was news! That seems like it happened six months ago.

Certainly, this list — Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments, published a couple days ago, needs to be updated.

Then there’s this bombshell, and it’s a real bombshell, assuming it’s true. Suborning perjury. Boom.

So why not relax with this photo gallery — thanks, Ann Fisher — taken by a WPA photographer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan after the lumber boom was over. It documents the extreme hardscrabble of life in “the cut-over,” i.e., the land where every tree had been felled and sent to the mills, which is to say, pretty much every goddamn acre of Michigan. Some amazing pix of some amazing faces.

Me, I’m outta here. Auto show photo gallery coming, eventually.

Posted at 9:38 am in Current events |

39 responses to “What day is it?”

  1. Jeff Borden said on January 18, 2019 at 10:03 am

    As with Watergate, it will be the ham-handed efforts by our utterly inept Orange King to cover up his crimes that does him in. . .assuming Senate Republicans and that whackadoodle new attorney general don’t decide it’s totally okay for a *president to be in the pocket of a Russian dictator so long as the money rolls in. The furious efforts by Mitch McConnell, the howling attacks by Lindsey Graham, etc. suggest the taint of dirty Kremlin money is on them, too, perhaps through the NRA. Lord knows there was zero reason to lift the sanctions on the Russian aluminum oligarch, but the Senate did just that.

    The upcoming year is going to a a dark, depressing tour of the sewage pipes of American politics. A spineless Senate will not intervene in the worst impulses of the Orange King, lest some of those delicate flowers face a primary challenger. Fearless leader will become ever more crazed in his efforts to retain power. (News that John Bolton has asked for attack plans on Iran ought to scare the bejesus out of you. If you don’t think the Orange King would start a war to boost his poll numbers, you’ve greatly underestimated his depravity. And that of the GOP.)

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  2. Deborah said on January 18, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Those historical photos are fabulous, what hard scrabble lives. It’s interesting to see all the stuff hanging on the walls. We have narrow shelves and pegs on the walls in our cabin in NM so just about every item we have in there is exposed. We got black bags to put stuff in to keep it from feeling overwhelmingly junky.

    It is amazing that the Republicans keep letting Trump get away with his childish and criminal behavior.

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  3. Sherri said on January 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

    As I posted on the last thread just before a new one showed up, the big question is why is Mitch McConnell covering for a criminal? Jeff(tmmo), do you still think he’s “not an ideologue”?

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  4. Jenine said on January 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Sandra Oh is wonderful and riveting even in the soap opry of old Grey’s Anatomy eps. I’m getting on the library list for Killing Eve dvds.

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  5. Sherri said on January 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

    In the good news department, Microsoft has taken a significant step in addressing the affordable housing problem in our area. $500 million is notable, and certainly better than spending that money on stock buybacks. More important than the money, though, is that they demonstrate an understanding of the scope of the problem, where they can fit in and help, where money makes a difference, and where influence makes a bigger difference. I’m as encouraged by the policy goals sought in this post as I am in the money.

    Nothing like this would have ever happened under Ballmer. There has definitely been a sea change at Microsoft since Satya


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  6. beb said on January 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Sherri raises a good point about Mitch McConnell — why does he continue to support an obviously compromised Donald Trump. Part of it, of course, is that Trump has given Republicans every thing they’ve ever wanted — hardcore partisans on the Supreme Court, massive tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of nearly every industry in sight, a war on people of color, women, and LGBT. And he regularly “owns the libs.” The other thing is that impeaching Trump would rile up their base and everyone in the Republican party would suffer, either through primaries or staying home for elections. Like the man who grabbed a tiger by the tail, he can’t afford to let go. Finally one has to assume that McConnell is happy to be the most powerful man in America. Since the president has to go through him to get anything done he is, by default, the top dog. Hell will be warming up a new bench down in the 9th level just for McConnell.

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  7. Deborah said on January 18, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I’m going to start calling them Republican’ts, because they can’t seem to do the right thing, especially regarding Trump.

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  8. Sherri said on January 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I’m just not sympathetic to arguments of “but judges and tax cuts” and “but the base.” McConnell has been and continues to aid and abet an ongoing criminal enterprise since the 2016 election, with plenty of evidence that the first candidate and later President was himself engaged in criminal activity. You know, he took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, too. Everybody in Congress did.

    It’s not just that McConnell has failed to check trump. He has actively helped trump, and continues to do so. From the moment he derailed the release of info about what the FBI knew about the Russians and trump during the campaign to now when he refuses to hold votes to end the shutdown, he acting to prop up and protect trump. There may no be anything he’s done that is illegal, but it is dishonorable and unpatriotic.

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  9. Jakash said on January 18, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Agreed, Sherri, but it’s just an even more shocking, deplorable continuation of how “dishonorable and unpatriotic” he’s been at least since Obama was elected. What other interpretation can there be for “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” or “One of my proudest moments was when I looked at Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.'”

    My mistake was in actually believing that when Hair Furor’s incompetence, evident criminality and likely treason became this obvious, that at some point those ever-so-patriotic, red, white and blue (but mainly white, of course) Republican Congresscritters would have to finally step up. The most logical explanation at this point for why they haven’t seems to me to be that many of them are too implicated themselves to do so.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on January 19, 2019 at 9:13 am

    On a practical level, what all these Republican’ts (hat tip to Deborah) from red states share is a terrifying fear of being primaried. No Democrat is going to be elected to the Senate from Kentucky or South Carolina in the foreseeable future, but there are plenty of far right lunkheads in the wings, who might emerge from under their rocks to suggest Mitchy and Lindsey are just too liberal and accommodating. Perhaps they are correct to worry. Kentucky, which had one of the most successful ACA health insurance efforts under a Democratic governor, elected a tea party asshole who promptly trashed it.

    On the unknowable level is what has been theorized, ie., has Russian money also tainted senior Republicans in the House and Senate? We know Putin’s minions funneled tens of millions of cash through the NRA. (McConnell has an A+ rating from those murdering bastards. Graham receives an A.) And we know Russian spy Maria Butina was the darling of the NRA.

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  11. Sherri said on January 19, 2019 at 10:34 am

    I understand that Republicans, with good reason after Eric Cantor, fear being primaried. I don’t care. Doing the right thing is hard sometimes, yes, but they expect poor people to make the right choices all the time to be worthy of their help.

    No matter how crazy their replacement might be, the scope of the damage a freshman senator can do is much more limited compared to what a criminal in the White House can do with the support of the Senate.

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  12. basset said on January 19, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Another perspective on the auto show: https://qz.com/1527487/detroits-auto-show-has-reached-the-end-of-the-road/

    And the almost-new Jeep pickup was there, https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/chrysler/2018/11/28/jeep-gladiator-los-angeles-auto-show-reveal/2137182002/ (how do I link to text here, anyway? hate to keep pasting these full links) not that I care… disappointed in it, during development they had some concept trucks that I would buy today.

    All they did here was hang a bed on the back of the Wrangler, not nearly as interesting as something like this:

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  13. basset said on January 19, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Meanwhile, some different perspective on the auto show:


    I know I didn’t see anything online that would inspire me to run over there in person… least of all the new Jeep pickup, been anticipating that for several years and all they did was hang a short bed on the back of a Wrangler:
    (how do I link to text on here anyway?)

    Some of the concept trucks which were rolled out during the last several years of this-is-absolutely-positively-the-new-jeep-pickup were a lot more interesting, I would buy this one today:

    but… gonna be either a Colorado or a Honda Ridgeline for us, I guess.

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  14. basset said on January 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Just tried twice to post some comments on the auto show, I guess having two links in each sent em to moderation. Nancy, just let one of those posts through if you would, no need to say the same thing twice.

    TL;DR: looks like the show is going downhill, the new Jeep pickup is a disappointment.

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  15. alex said on January 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I read that several automakers are sitting out the show this year because the date doesn’t coincide well with their new product launches, so the show is going to try to accommodate them next year by moving the date to June. It’s also an effort to rejuvenate interest in the show by having it outdoors and allowing for test drives.

    I also read this morning that Mueller has pushed back on the story that Trump suborned perjury. Bummer.

    We’re getting clobbered by a snowstorm right now. I stocked up on food and in addition to last night’s corned beef (almost completely devoured at this point from making yummy sammiches), I’m going to do a pork tenderloin and a big pot of authentic Hungarian goulash. Gonna snip the rest of my big rosemary plant in the front flowerbed for the tenderloin before the weather goes sub-zero and ruins it. Debating whether to braise the pork in beer or just roast it.

    Feeling cozy this morning just staring out at the storm. We ventured out earlier this morning to pick up an estate sale item we bought earlier this week — a ginormous drill press. Very heavy-duty piece of equipment and we’re guessing 1970s vintage. Has all the original manuals and everything. Sears Craftsman. And we snagged it for only $95.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    What do you do with a drill press? I used to help my dad a lot in his workshop but don’t seem to have picked up any knowledge. He was an amazing woodworker despite only having one arm. I held things for him.

    We had to cancel our trip for my aunt’s memorial service. I’m sad but it wasn’t going to be safe, and quite a few others also stayed home. Still holding out hope for a reunion this summer.

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  17. Suzanne said on January 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I went to the grocery yesterday, so we are stocked up on food since the weather is awful, awful, awful. I plan on a hot soup for dinner. And maybe I will bake some bread to go with it. If I can get motivated which is hard for me this time of year when the winds are howling & the snow is blowing.

    Alex, I would love your goulash recipe.

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  18. alex said on January 19, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Julie, a drill press is for metal fabrication, at least for our purposes. And art, baby, art. It can be used in woodworking too.

    Suzanne, I’m delighted to share. The recipe typically calls for chuck roast, about 3 lbs., but since we’re watching dietary fat I use flank steak which comes out even more tender but it’s also a fair bit more pricey.

    First you cube the meat, then brown it in butter (best in batches) in a dutch oven, then set aside. (The Hungarians love to use bacon fat. We’re doing the healthier version.) In the fond left by the meat (and maybe add another pat of butter), saute a couple of sliced up sweet onions and about 8 thinly sliced bell peppers or Hungarian wax peppers (the Hungarian peppers pack more heat). When these are nice and tender, add several diced cloves of garlic and cook for about a minute more, then add back the meat, a half teaspoon of caraway seeds and five tablespoons of good quality sweet Hungarian paprika. Stir them all together, then add 64 ounces of broth, either beef or chicken. Also add about 2 lbs of small red potatoes, peeled and quartered. Then place the dutch oven in the oven at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours.

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  19. Suzanne said on January 19, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    My mouth is watering, Alex. If it wasn’t so awful out, I would be in the car buying ingredients. Oh boy, does that sound good!

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  20. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Should have just googled drill press. Dad did have one but I can’t quite place what he used it for. He did all kinds of woodworking–frames, shelves, a bedside table with a drawer. My folks would be an art print, always by an impressionist, and he would stain or paint it to bring out the colors. My parents were both farm folks and could make about anything.

    Anyway, that goulash has me salivating too. Do you ever make paprikash? When I was a kid there was a church that made it for a fundraiser and it was fantastic.

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  21. diane said on January 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks Alex. Sounds delicious and doable. I will be trying that sometime this winter.

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  22. alex said on January 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Got all my ingredients prepped and I’m about to plunge in.

    Julie, paprikash is similar (and in my opinion better with bone-in chicken) only you add some sour cream at the end. Otherwise it’s the same basic seasonings. I learned to to that one with homemade dumplings that go right into it at the end. You just prepare a flour-and-egg mixture, let it set up, and then pinch off little pieces and drop them into the hot cauldron.

    Today considering browning the flank steaks whole, then cubing them. Saw this recommended online for another stew recipe. Think that’s what I’ll do. My hands need a rest from chopping.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    This is the time where I wish I could post an emoji or gif. It would be me, stuffing my face.

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  24. Deborah said on January 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve never tried making Hungarian food before, might have to try what Alex described. I’m making a chicken stew right now, it was supposed to be soup but I only got one carton of chicken broth for everything to steep in and it’s not enough liquid, so I added a large can of whole peeled tomatoes and some Italian seasoning. Not quite what I had in mind.

    We’re having a dreary, snowy, windy day in Chicago. I’m not going outside for anything today, just doing laundry and cooking. Tomorrow I’m house cleaning, after traveling so much, we had a mountain of laundry and everything needs spiffing up.

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  25. Deborah said on January 19, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Trump’s negotiations today seems like Lucy and the football to me. Pelosi et all, are doing the right thing to reject it.

    The term republican’t reminds me of replicant from Blade Runner. Not quite human.

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  26. beb said on January 19, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    If the idea that judges and “the base” aren’t enough to explain Mitch McConnell’s behavior that puts us into the weeds of blackmail or soviet Russian agent. It’s entirely possible that Putin has been funneling money to McConnell but undetected — seems unlikely. Blackmail? Lindsey Graham’s 180 on Trump certainly raises questions of blackmail. But McConnell has been like this since Obama’s first inauguration, when he met with a group of high Republican officials who vowed to do anything they could to make Obama a one term president. Who would have been blackmailing him back then?

    This brings us around to animus and calculus. It looks as if Republicans don’t believe Democrats should exist. Certainly they should not have any power. Every thing they’ve while in power in Congress is to remove power from Democrats to object to their agenda. Their refusal to investigate Trump is a simple calculus — any investigation into Trump would almost have to lead to impeachment but at the least would demoralize their base leading to a Democratic wave. And that’s the calculus. Republicans realize they can’t win just on their base alone but have to do everything possible (including things illegal) to suppress the Dems.

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  27. Connie said on January 19, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    I find it interesting that the US figure skating championships are going on in Detroit the same week as the Auto show. Which would you rather go to?

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  28. alex said on January 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Enjoying awesome dinner. One of the things that makes this dish rock is the simplicity. Less really is more. Other than what I stated above, I also added a couple of bay leaves and four of those long red sweet peppers they’re selling these days in the peppers section. The Hungarian wax peppers in this dish weren’t overly hot, or even noticeably hot, but lent the perfect flavor. This is what this dish was made to be — a medium for Hungarian wax peppers.

    Having browned the flank steak before cubing it this time, I’ll say that it comes out a bit stringier than when you cube it first and then brown it , although this still has quite a nice texture either way. Going back for thirds.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on January 19, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Any other time I’d say skating, because I’ve followed it for years, but there is a huge cloud over Nationals this year. A former skater, now coaching and working for a skate company, was accused of inappropriate behavior by more than one person, investigated by a group called Safe Sport, then given an interim suspension from being anywhere near skating. He committed suicide yesterday, at the age of 33.

    The whole thing is such a tragedy. I want transparency and I want those who’ve been abused to come forward and not be further victimized. At the same time I’m so sad for his family and friends. It just wasn’t handled well. I’m not sure we have a good process.

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  30. beb said on January 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    So why is my post being blocked. It says I already posted it but it’s not on the page or on the list of commenters. Thee have been other times when I thought I had posted something only to never find it listed. WTF?

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  31. beb said on January 19, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    If passing reactionary laws, Federalist judge and fear of the base isn’t enough to explain McConnell then we’re in the weeds of blackmail or being a Russian agent. But McConnell has been like this since Obama’s inauguration. So maybe the explanation is simply that McConnell believes Democrats are illegal in all shapes and form. And he does Trumps bidding because Trump believes Democrats are illegal. And that all the scandals surrounding Trump are merely Democratic scheme to stifle the one true government. This seems as delusion as believing McConnell is a puppet of Putin.

    But that doesn’t explain why all the other Republicans are in cahorts with McConnell. That has to be fear of their base in that losing an election would harm their chances of post-congress Lobbying deals.

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  32. Colleen said on January 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Alex, that sounds delicious! I have a different recipe I got from a Hungarian cookbook. I made it and posted to a Hungarian FB group I am on and got BLASTED. In English and Hungarian. “Nem gulyas!” People were really harsh about it. I guess it wasn’t soup like enough or something. Shrug. Anyway…you never have to wonder about a Hungarian’s opinion about something….

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  33. nancy said on January 20, 2019 at 7:50 am

    For future reference, as we’ve been having some comments go to moderation:

    You’ll go to the holding pen for one of two reasons:

    1) You change your posting name, email address or IP address. All first-time comments go here, but once they’re approved, you’re good, until you post from another computer, or under a new name or email address.

    If you regularly post from, say, your desktop and phone, and find yourself reading on a friend’s computer and are gripped with the urge to comment, you’ll go to moderation. If you mistype your email address — and this is what happened to beb yesterday, no need to WTF me — you’ll go to moderation. If Deborah decides she no longer needs the H on the end of her name, you get the idea.

    2) The other reason is, you paste too many links. I believe John set the filter to two. I’ll check. Basset put three links in his comments, so? Moderation jail.

    I get to these when I can, but I don’t always do so in a timely fashion, true. For this I apologize.

    That is all! Carry on.

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  34. alex said on January 20, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Colleen, I’m doubtless committing heresy just by making mine marginally less unhealthful with butter rather than pork lard. But I see all sorts of variations in recipes online by purported Hungarians. Some people add beer or wine to their stock, really a very French thing to do. Some people use carrots and celery, which also comes from French cooking.

    The best Hungarian cookbooks, in my opinion, are those by George Lang, a famous Budapest chef and restaurateur, and Louis Szathmary, who introduced “continental cuisine” to Chicago and ran a very successful business for many years.

    Zoli’s in Fort Wayne was sort of a smaller, humbler version of Szathmary’s “Bakery,” a fine dining establishment that also featured a schmancy European-style retail bakery.


    For some good reading this morning — and some optimism going into 2020 — I heartily recommend this glowing WaPo interview with Indiana’s long-shot progressive candidate Mayor Pete:


    I regret missing out on the chance to meet Mayor Pete this past summer while I was volunteering for the Courtney Tritch for Congress campaign. (She’s another millennial who managed to inspire an impressive grassroots movement right here in the middle of Guns ‘n God country.) I welcome his candidacy. It will put a much-needed spotlight on the disingenuousness of religious defenses of anti-gay bigotry.

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  35. basset said on January 20, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Thought that was probably the issue on my posts yday, no big deal, will break em up next time. So how do I embed the post in text rather than just pasting the whole thing in?

    We’re just catching the edge of the big storm in Nashville. A few inches of rain yesterday, freeze & a couple more of snow overnight, nothing to get excited about up in your part of the world but much more than that here. The river out back of the house is high but supposed to crest today about four feet short of flood stage.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Nancy, I demand you take back your apology!


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  37. Suzanne said on January 20, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I read the WaPo article on Mayor Pete from South Bend this morning, too. I had no idea he was a vet who had served in Afghanistan. Very impressive guy! I have also been very, very surprised that he seemed to get very little blowback on coming out and his marriage. I expected an uproar here in the great state of MAGA but heard almost nothing.

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  38. Suzanne said on January 20, 2019 at 11:35 am

    And this, the definition of clueless:

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  39. brian stouder said on January 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Suzanne – that is the single best article on the Trump era that I have yet read, period. All y’all oughta run (not walk!) directly to that link and read it.

    It absolutely captures the flavor of this moment in US history.

    Aside from that, loved/loved/loved the auto-show photos. I may never make it to that show, but my fine young son (who just graduated from college and landed a fine job and is moving into his own apartment next month) and I are gabbing about doing the Belle Isle race this summer, so there’s that

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