With the swamp-drainers.

You guys. What a week. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even possible to have two half-time jobs, but I like both of them, so I guess I’m just going to have to figure it out. But my world is a series of spinning plates. This week, it culminated with this event, which I covered, and you can read the story here, and I’d appreciate it if you did.

But if you’re rushed: It was the We Build the Wall Town Hall, a traveling grift-a-palooza that stopped in Detroit last night. A sad event. It was originally scheduled for a church in Warren, which for you out-of-towners is most definitely MAGA country, but was relocated to Detroit when they outgrew the space. The organizers claimed they had more than a thousand people registered; maybe 300 showed up. They were dwarfed by one of Cobo’s zillion-square-foot halls, but what the heck, the energy was about as high as a crowd with a median age of maybe 52 could drum up. I thought what I’ve thought many times in crowds like this: This issue is resolving itself, one funeral at a time. So many gray heads, so many canes, so many of those rolling walkers. The Bikers for Trump looked like the crowd at last summer’s Steppenwolf concert, with a titanium hip for every Harley-Davidson.

Maybe the rest were scared off by having to come to Detroit, who knows.

I went because Bannon was on the bill. I originally figured he’d be a no-show, “called away by vital business,” but there he was. You’d think he’d elevate such an event, but not really, not when he’s up there with as grifty a bunch as this. Here’s the scenario: This “We Build the Wall” GoFundMe has already raised $20.6 million. People are being given the chance to back out, but — they say — few have. But let’s say have $10 million to spend. For this sum, they intend to put up parts of a wall, on private property. How easy would it be to slip away with a big chunk of that? I say not very.

Bannon is independently wealthy; he doesn’t need to hustle old people for $5 contributions. He still considers himself a person of ideas and vision. What is he doing up there with Sheriff Clarke? Just organizing? Someone with a more devious political mind, chime in. I’m really interested.

One of the books I’m reading these days is Michael Lewis’ “The Fifth Risk,” about the Trump administration’s abandonment of a critical job — staffing the parts of the government people don’t think about until they fail. It’s terrifying. Lewis concentrates on one department — Energy — but I thought of the FAA when I read this headline: Trump wanted his personal pilot to head the FAA. The critical job is still vacant amid Boeing fallout.

Lewis makes the case that not only do these departments do what everybody hates, OMG REGULATION, but play critical roles interacting with private industry in guiding that which they oversee. Running a major federal agency is not the same as flying a plane, but I guess that’s too hard to see.

Man, what a week. I’m outta here. Have a great weekend, and back on Sunday/Monday.

Posted at 12:29 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

32 responses to “With the swamp-drainers.”

  1. Deggjr said on March 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    With Bannon, my guess is that his path back to the ‘room where it happens’
    is as a base whisperer and he is just keeping current.

    Sheriff David Clarke was dumped from Fox. He also spent pre-election time in Russia for his own unknown reasons. My guess is he needs to pay his bills.

    Everyone has to be somewhere.

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  2. basset said on March 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Shoot to kill, that’s obviously the answer. And I see Charlie LeDuff on the page as well, what happened with him and local tv?

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  3. Suzanne said on March 15, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I was scrolling through Twitter last night and saw a video of the mosque shooting. I can’t even remember if I reported it I was so taken aback.

    I am sickened beyond words.

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  4. LAMary said on March 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Trump’s probably got several pilots who used to work for Trump Airlines who need jobs. Any of them could do a simple job like running the FAA. Piece of cake. Especially since Trump probably knows more about aviation than anyone. I don’t think he’s said that yet but he probably will. I heard Michael Lewis talking about his book a while back. He made some scary points.

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  5. Charlotte said on March 15, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    I’m with you on the 2 part time jobs stress — one more class and at least I get a week for spring break. But the week is already pencilled out for job 2. And planning classes for job 1 for the rest of the semester.
    The gig economy.
    Oh joy.

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  6. LAMary said on March 15, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    The good news is I have a second interview for a job on Tuesday. The bad news is it’s another contract job. This means it might last 3 months, maybe 6, maybe permanent, but no benefits while it’s called a contract job. Both my sons have 1099 jobs. No bennies for them either.

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  7. Deborah said on March 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Since we didn’t have pie on pi day, we’re having Caesar salad on the Ides of March.

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  8. David C. said on March 15, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    They say safety regulations are written in blood (health regulations are probably written in diarrhea, but anyway), I have no doubt, we’ll spill some blood before this is over. I’m also sure the MAGAts won’t care – even if their own blood.

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  9. Deborah said on March 15, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Good piece, Nancy, on the Detroit Build the Wall event. Interesting that it wasn’t very well attended, that’s very good news to me.

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  10. FDChief said on March 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    You could not pay me enough to board that ship of fools. My only interest in it would be if there was some way to suss out the slimeballs’ motivation; who’s straight up grifting? Who’s a genuine gas-the-subhumans Nazi? Who’s using racism and fear to distract the rubes from their real goal of restoring the Gilded Age?

    Regardless of motive, tho…these really are the scum of the cursed Earth. It’s their eagerness to hate that gives them away. They will cheerfully burn their own country down rather than pass it on to the mud people.

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  11. LAMary said on March 15, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I heard on the news this morning that eating eggs could badly effect your cholesterol. I desperately need know. Is this news? Did I dream that I knew this about 35 years ago?

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  12. FDChief said on March 15, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    The other thing to remember as we read about these porky backyard-grill dads with their Trumpin’ shirts and the sweet blue-haired granny with the QAnon and InfoWars stickers on the oxygen tank in the back of her hoveround is that these are the Good Germans. They haven’t the slightest notion where that nice Gomez family went after the black vans came in the night, and they express dutiful shock at the horrors in New Zealand before going home to forward the emails from their looney racist cousin recommending a “final solution” for Muslims and the jpeg showing a gay couple raping helpless toddlers.

    When I say “these people are scum” what I mean is “last time we let these kinds of people get the government they wanted we had to incinerate tens of thousands of them in firebomb raids to put an end to their evil” kind of scum.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on March 15, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    What I want to know about David Clarke is, after he fished those trinkets out of the boxes and pinned them to his chest, did he eat all the Cracker Jack?

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  14. alex said on March 16, 2019 at 9:24 am

    In keeping with the Fifth Risk mentioned above…

    I think this article from 2017 was discussed here. It’s worth revisiting. Even if the Democrats re-take Congress and the White House, I wonder if we’ll ever be able to restore our federal agencies with the kinds of altruistic career scientists who’ve been pushed out in favor of industry and political appointees and resurrect the beneficial programs that have been dismantled.


    If there is any justice in this world, and I fear there isn’t, Donald Trump and his abettors would be locked up in an inhumane prison for the rest of their natural lives.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on March 16, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Alex, I too fear there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle, not just in attracting the finest to government work. How can saner heads prevail when the heinous New Zealand shooter cited our own country and those Trump has whipped up? I went into an emotional tailspin yesterday, hearing the voices of the victims in my brain. I had to turn off all news sources. Am currently listening to Mary Poppins Returns, that’s how far away I’ve had to go.

    Mary, best wishes for the job interview. You are due a break. As far as 1099 jobs go, my kids both have benefits, but their pay is too low to live on. We bought our Orlando house as a place for us to retire, but it’s looking like they’ll still need to live there. Could be crowded!

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  16. Connie said on March 16, 2019 at 10:18 am

    The egg question: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/wellness/2019/03/15/eggs-study-heart/39209263/

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  17. alex said on March 16, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Just had to share this…

    A fancy car pulled into the driveway a few moments ago and a man in a suit got out and came to the door. Jehovah’s I figured but answered anyway. He told me his name and asked me for mine. Then he asked, “Alex, do you know what is God’s purpose for us here on earth?”

    “Heck if I know,” I responded.

    He opened a silver Bible and pointed to the verse in Genesis about being fruitful and multiplying. Then he asked again, “So now do you know what is God’s purpose for us here on earth?”

    I answered “To fuck?”

    He smiled and said he’d come back to discuss it with me another day.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on March 16, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I’d say Bannon’s work is going swimmingly these days as white supremacists on every continent are pushing up from under their slimy rocks to slay those they fear and hate. The New Zealand shooter directly called out our Orange King as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Man, I hate these people.

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  19. David C. said on March 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Oh Alex. That’s the best. You win this one.

    On the egg study.
    Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and elsewhere pooled results from six previous studies, analyzing data on almost 30,000 U.S. adults who self-reported daily food intake.

    Any study that depends on self-reporting is not a good study.

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  20. alex said on March 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I think the win should go to Bitter Scribe at 13.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Alex, silver tooled leather cover, or silver hardback boards?

    I’m stuck at “a silver Bible.” I know about golden plates, but this . . .

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  22. alex said on March 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I assume it was leatherbound.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 16, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Well, Revelation 19:9. You’re not far off . . .

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  24. Jakash said on March 16, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Seems like #13 and #17 are both solid nominees for thread win. As far as the “purpose for us here on Earth” is concerned, your concise reply points out that, despite their differences, for both your morning visitor and folks who acknowledge evolution as the raison d’etre, the ultimate answer is the same.

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  25. basset said on March 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    And the Formula 1 season is starting again today, once again no American drivers but at least there’s an American team, the drivers are French Swiss and Norwegian.

    Update on the corned tofu: Basset Jr. and his SO won’t be with us for dinner tonight so maybe I’ll cook it up tomorrow, have a brisket and an English roast on the stove right now for tonight though. Ten days in the brine, we’ll see how it works out.

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  26. beb said on March 16, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I have to go with Alex@17 for thread win out of surrealism. An evangekist who drives from place to place. And has a silver Bible. That is just to weird. Also I can’t help thinking this is some kind of anti-gay conversion program.

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  27. Deborah said on March 16, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    We arrived at our hotel in AZ, it’s a place called the Sanctuary in Paradise Valley. Very chi chi, our room is kind of a mid mod casita, a suite. Uncle J’s exec assistant set it all up. It’s right next to a mountain, the mountains all have names but I don’t know which one is which. It’s nice and warm here.

    Tomorrow we go to a Cubs spring training game in nearby Mesa. Then Monday we head down to Tubac to check out Uncle J’s “ranch” (no animals), before it goes up for sale pretty soon.

    Very relaxing.

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  28. LAMary said on March 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I got a good haircut today. An Aveda Salon gift card I got about 18 months ago had a healthy balance on it so I took off about five inches of hair and got rid of the demented old hippie look and went with the vaguely artsy old hippie look.

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  29. basset said on March 16, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Gotta report that the corned tofu was a success, Jr. was home for dinner after all so I braised it in vegetable broth. Tasted like salty tofu to me but he liked it.
    Corned beef went over too, neighbors were here for dinner & then we watched the 1968 “Lion in Winter.” Lots of Big Important Moments with people yelling at each other, treachery, deception, and Jane Merrow.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on March 17, 2019 at 2:50 am

    I don’t buy many new hardbacks anymore but I had to have “Big Fella”, NYTimes’s Jane Leavy’s definitive book on Babe Ruth. It’s baseball season, what else could I do? Anyway I posted on Facebook how I was ordering it when my next retirement deposit was available but my daughter beat me to the punch and it was on my porch 2 days later.
    Goddam tweakers next door are at it again…a few days ago they tried to beat my front door down at 2:40 AM, I called 9-1-1 and the cops were here in 45 seconds and they caught two men running away but I never heard another word about any of it. Weird. I already had reinforced my door with a homemade “police lock”, based on a lock my friend had when he had a crib up on 111th near Columbia U. in Manhattan years ago. The door held OK… my ‘hood is dicey as hell, all because I apparently live in a drug-hell-dealers’ block or something…damn. I am happy but leery however as the Wolverines have to play the shitkickers from East Lansing again. The M lads have been beaten badly twice by the farmers already this year. Minnesota played great Friday in beating Purdue but they were worn out Saturday and the Wolverines trashed Minnesota by around 29 points. March Madness… makes me nervous but it’s pretty good entertainment. GO BLUE !

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  31. basset said on March 17, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Agree with you on “Big Fella,” it’s about so much more than just baseball. Liked the same author’s Mickey Mantle book too.

    Say more about this homemade lock.

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  32. Deborah said on March 17, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    It’s Camelback mountain, this place is actually partly on the mountain.

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