Circles.

One of the baby gifts we received when Kate was born was a pair of infant-size slippers, kind of like those puffy down-filled ones L.L. Bean sells. She was born in the fall and didn’t walk until the following summer, and I wasn’t much for shoes in those early months, but they were cute and their oversized puffiness looked silly on her wee feet, so we put them on her sometimes on chilly days.

Also, they were pink.

So in those early months, during those long stretches where you basically just sit around holding your baby, we would sometimes sing The Big Pink Shoe song to her, which as I recall, was to the tune of “Tequila” and owed a lot to Peewee Herman. I’m doing my big pink shoe dance / I’m wearing my big pink shoes / My shoes are biiiiig and pink, yeah / And I got my big pink shoes on, yeah!

(Our skill with lyrics was also seen in the Poopy Diaper song, which was mine alone.)

Anyway, in recent years I keep noticing patterns as Kate ticks off her milestones. For instance: I went to see the Rolling Stones in Cleveland Stadium the summer after my high-school graduation, and she went to see the Rolling Stones in Comerica Park the summer after her high-school graduation, made all the more remarkable by the fact we graduated exactly 40 years apart.

Anyway, this happened on Friday. Note the shoes. (Doc Martens.)

I guess the next step in these closing-circle patterns is for me to die or something, but I hope to hold that off for a while.

It was a nice ceremony. The university, like many, divides the transition into two parts — a smaller one for the school or college or major (where you get to hear your name read aloud), followed by a larger one for the whole class (where you don’t). Friday was for the School of Music, Theater and Dance, so it featured music and dance, and the performances were very theatrical – one was a piece for two electric bassoons, and it was extremely so. Christine Lahti was the main speaker, and she worked blue, in that she described a job she was offered where “all I had to do was fuck the two directors,” followed by another story of being so depressed by it that she pulled herself out by vowing to “prove every one of those motherfuckers wrong.” Some of the parents seemed a little taken aback, but their graduates were probably the ones who studied violin, which doesn’t include swearing, except in practice that doesn’t go well, and maybe not even then.

The ceremony was so nice that we skipped the Big House the next day, allowing Kate to keep her four-year streak of never setting foot in the country’s largest football stadium intact. Actually, I think she did end up going, so as to celebrate with her housemates were were graduating in other majors. But we had complications, and didn’t. That was fine. It was overcast and cold.

On Saturday, I watched the Kentucky Derby. It was a great race, made more so by Maximum Security’s thrilling stretch run, where after leading from the start, he was seriously challenged and then found another gear, pulling away to win by one and half lengths. That sort of heart isn’t in every horse, especially on a sloppy track. To see his rider giving his post-race horseback interview in clean silks (everyone who ran behind him was streaked with mud) was remarkable.

And we all know what happened next. And I suppose that by now we all know this happened after that:

It was a disappointment, for sure, and I’m not at all satisfied that the best horse won, but in my humility, I trust that race stewards and those who enforce the rules know what they’re doing. There were 19 horses in that race, a huge field. I had no idea it had anything to do with political correctness. But what do I know? Less than the race steward-in-chief, evidently.

I hate what this country has become. After the 2016 election, a philosophical friend of mine said he was choosing not to be (too) alarmed. The United States, he said, was like an aircraft carrier, which needs miles of ocean to execute a change in direction, and there were so many things that would be even harder to change — the federal bureaucracy, for one. Congress would play its part as a check and balance. We’ll look back on this era and wince, but little real damage would be done.

It helped a little. I thought he might be right. I don’t think that anymore. I think we’re in very big trouble.

But this is a joyful weekend, the sun is shining, and I plan to enjoy what’s left of it. Happy week ahead, all.

Posted at 11:53 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

126 responses to “Circles.”

  1. Mark P said on May 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I think great damage has been and will continue to be done to the country. I know for sure that I do not now and will never again think of this country in the same way. I have lost my patriotic innocence.

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  2. FDChief said on May 5, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve always regretted missing my college commencement, but I was unavoidably detained somewhere in Area J at Ft. Bragg. Glad you got to enjoy Big Pink Shoe Redux.

    Here’s the thing; I’ve been watching with horror as the GOP has carefully nurtured these angry, racist, proudly ignorant infinitely reprogrammable meatbags of which Orange Foolius is a product, not a producer. Now 40-45% of our “fellow citizens” will happily return this country to the economic, social, and political conditions of 1887 if it will own the libs and make a gay couple cry.

    How does a republic – especially one with as many veto points for legislation as this one – survive when two of five “citizens” aren’t really citizens at all but subjects, happy to sell their birthrights for the mess of pottage that is guns, God, and legalizing hatred of the browns and the queers and the commies?

    I think the answer is that it doesn’t. Not for the rest of us.

    That doesn’t mean to stop fighting this Idiocracy. But it means accepting that this will probably be a rearguard action that is successful if it mitigates some of these people’s cruelty and vindictiveness.

    Sometimes there’s no happy ending to a chapter. Sometimes you know why Jesus wept.

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  3. basset said on May 5, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Good description, FDChief, now let’s not talk about our national screaming power dive into hell for a few minutes. Back to commencements.

    I didn’t go to mine at IU, graduated in the summer session and was already working over in Terre Haute. My parents didn’t believe that I had actually graduated (I was seven years into a four-year program at the time) until the diploma showed up. Given that they at first thought my radio-TV degree was gonna be in radio and TV repair (no, I can’t fix the neighbors’ TV) and was told not long after that what I was doing was “basically a waste of time,” making commencement a family celebration wasn’t gonna happen.

    Only went into the football stadium once in all that time, a couple of us sneaked in late at night and pissed on the midfield logo. Probably would have been shot on the run if we had tried that in Assembly Hall.

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  4. Sherri said on May 5, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Choosing to not be alarmed about what happened in 2016 was a position of extreme privilege. Some people still haven’t figured that out. Too many of them are running for President.

    Michael Lewis has a new podcast about what’s happening in a world where no one trusts the referees: Against the Rules.

    My graduation ceremony regret is that we didn’t attend the ceremony when my husband got his PhD. He defended his dissertation in December and we moved to California in March, and didn’t make the trip back to Pittsburgh for the ceremony in May. At the time, it made sense, but now I wish we had.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Congrats to Kate! What’s her next step?

    When I was at IU, you stood up by college to be recognized, no names except in the program, no walking up to get a diploma, so I skipped it. Only years later did my folks tell me how much they wanted to be there–oh well.

    I also never went to a football game. But I would watch the marching band practice while I studied outdoors, and that’s the only reason I would have gone anyway.

    Our daughter is in Alabama for a church conference and she decided to worship this morning at MLK Jr.’s church, Dexter Avenue Baptist. When they found out she was a pastor they invited her to lead them in the morning’s prayers! She was humbled to stand at the same pulpit as Dr. King.

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  6. beb said on May 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Congrats to Kate. That is truly an accomplishment. Pink clogs or not.

    And a Woo Hoo to Julie’s daughter for getting to lead the morning prayer at MLK’s church. That is an honor indeed.

    The longer Trump is in office the harder it to think one can just ride out his one term and hope someone better will get elected. All the more so when the Speaker of the House implies that 18 months isn’t all that long till the next election. It’s a lifetime for some of us. And should be all the more important when the president starts tweeting about stolen victories. Even since Michael Cohen suggested that Trump might not leave the White House if he lost in 2020. Democrats can’t just win in 2020 they will have to win big, and even then there’s no guarantee that the slime-bucket in chief will obey the law. Impeach now and at least start a track record.

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  7. Deborah said on May 5, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Nancy, I enjoyed this blog post a lot, and as I said on FB, I like those pink shoes.

    I can’t beleive that Trump found a way to use the Kentucky Derby to try to further divide this country. I didn’t watch any of the race partly because I’m in Abiquiu but mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever in my life watched a real full horse race. Only in movies or bits on the news.

    I’ve been taking photos of wildflowers on our land in Abiquiu the last couple of days, we had a nice snowy winter and so far a fairly wet spring so it’s greener than usual and nice spots of color here and there. It’s no super
    bloom like in CA but we’re thrilled. It’s supposed to rain later in the week and into next weekend so it might just get better and better.

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  8. Mark P said on May 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    When I got my PhD, my advisor asked if I planned to attend graduation. I said no, which made him happy because that meant he wouldn’t have to go either. Then I went home for the weekend and my parents told me they wanted to see me graduate. So I had to go back and tell my advisor that I was going, and so was he.

    Donald Trump is so impressive! He knows more about everything than anyone! In fact, he knows everything about everything! Wait, maybe it’s everything about nothing. Or maybe nothing about everything? I always get those confused.

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  9. Suzanne said on May 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I fear for this country more and more because so many people simply don’t pay attention. There is the 30% who are idiots and would love Trump if he tied them up and screwed their wives. But there is a huge swath who support him because they pay so little attention to what is happening. They have no clue how corrupt he is and don’t want to know. The economy is clicking along ok and they are fine. If a few Jews get shot up in a Synagogue or a few blacks get harassed on a street corner while waiting to cross the street, they figure that has nothing to do with them so why worry about it? Especially here in the heart of America where people rarely encounter a Jew or a person of color.
    Every day, I understand more and more fully how Germany allowed Nazis to take over their country.

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  10. Deborah said on May 5, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Suzanne, this made me laugh out loud “There is the 30% who are idiots and would love Trump if he tied them up and screwed their wives.” I too can now see how Nazi Germany happened. It used to be a mystery to me, that people could actually be that cruel and immoral.

    I’ve been reading a little more, more like I used to before the internet. I mentioned here before that I read Out of Africa, I enjoyed it but some of it is incredibly racist. Then I read The Overstory by Richard Powers (won a Pulitzer), I look a trees now completely differently. I needed a good book to read on my recent flights and happened upon Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday which turned out to be fantastic. Now I’m reading a new biography about Nelson Algren by Colin Asher, I read about this book in a recent New Yorker, Algren has always been interesting to me. My next book is going to be A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich, written for children in 1939 but with many updates. My husband read it and was bowled over by how many wars were started over religions throughout the ages.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? I have a lot of time to read in Abiquiu.

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  11. David C. said on May 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    I honestly believe the only way forward is some kind of Czechoslovakia-like velvet divorce. How can you run a government when almost half the country doesn’t believe we need a government – at least not the representative kind. Let the crazy states fend for themselves. They think they do anyway.

    Both my associates degree and bachelors degree diplomas were delivered by the US Mail, and I’m fine with that. I was never anything but a commuter student, so I was never all integrated into campus life anyway.

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  12. Colleen said on May 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Husband graduated from IU’s Radio/TV program and didn’t go to his graduation either. Attending commencement was a requirement for receiving your diploma at Hanover. Got my late in life AS from Vincennes via the mailman.

    Just read an article that said Pelosi is worried that Trump won’t go peacefully should he lose in 2020. Bill Maher first said that many months ago and was pooh pooed. Now I am hearing that concern expressed more often. And now by Nancy Pelosi. Yikes.

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  13. Deborah said on May 5, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    My husband didn’t go to his graduation ceremony from the University of Illinois, or from the Harvard graduate school of design. I went to my graduation from Concordia in Seward, Nebraska but my father didn’t go. He went to my sister’s graduation the year before mine from the same school. Two of his sisters, my aunts who lived relatively nearby went in his stead, which was fine by me. He lived in Miami, FL and for him to make two trips like that a year apart was hard on his finances, especially after helping us financially through college.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Congrats indeed to Kate and her parents, and Julie, that is indeed wonderful for your daughter. I learned years ago that if you visit an African American church and they find out you are a preacher, you will be “invited” to do something, and you surely do not decline. If you’re lucky, it’s just a prayer. But at Dexter Avenue . . . . blessed is she among women!

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  15. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Richard Powers grew up in the next town over and my mom remembers helping him find books way beyond what most kids wanted at the library. Overstory is at the top of my library queue.

    Deborah, if you want to explore the beginnings of Nazi power, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson is excellent and chilling. The US Ambassador repeatedly tried to warn the State Department but was disregarded because he hadn’t come up through the diplomatic corps and wasn’t wealthy. (He had been appointed accidentally; Roosevelt meant to nominate someone else with the same name.)

    If you like memoirs I’ve enjoyed three this year: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off by Michael Caine, and Too Much is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells. Like seemingly everyone else who has read it, I also loved Where the Crawdads Sing. I don’t know if you like to read Sara Paretsky for all her Chicago references, but I thought her latest, Shell Game, was a weak effort. Maybe she’s run her course with the Kinsey Millhone character.

    Sarah called us after visiting the Legacy Museum and lynching memorial in Montgomery. The museum is in a building formerly used for slave auctions, and they have video interpreters, including a two-year old girl searching for her mother, who had been sold off. “Mama? Where is my Mama”? When Sarah said that, she started crying and sounded just like her own two-year old self, and her mama burst into sobs. It brought it home for me viscerally. I’m so grateful that in 48 hours I’ll be hugging her instead of never knowing where she was for the rest of my life.

    Edited to add: Jeff, they had her sit up at the altar for the whole service! She called it sitting on the throne.

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  16. basset said on May 5, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Colleen, when was he there? 73-77 and spring term of 80 for me, maybe I know him. “radio-tv” dates both of us, the major changed title to “telecommunications” while I was there and no telling what it might be now, all wadded up with PR and video game design.

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  17. Suzanne said on May 5, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Wholeheartedly agree on the recommendation to read In the Garden of Beasts. Chilling.
    Another I recommend is The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong about the rise of fundamentalism worldwide. Also chilling.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    bassett, brace yourself. They took journalism out of Ernie Pyle Hall and added TV/radio/communications/blogging/instagram/snapchat and whatever the hell is the latest online fad. Exaggerating a bit, but it’s now called The Media School. I was there from 74-79, but not in that department.

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  19. LAMary said on May 5, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I’m trying to work out what is politically correct about ruling on a horse race.

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  20. basset said on May 5, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    I know, was there last summer and whatever they call that mess now is right inside the gates at the end of Kirkwood. went inside and walked around a little, everyone was nice enough but it was definitely alien territory.

    recall going to class in the sunken room at Ernie Pyle from which the IDS printing press had just been removed. believe that you and I were both gone before the gates went in, I don’t remember em.

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  21. LAMary said on May 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    I have a headache.

    “President Trump on Sunday retweeted a post from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. that said Trump’s first term should be extended by two years as payback “for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”
    Falwell, an avid and vocal supporter of Trump, was alluding to the recently completed investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election that special counsel Robert Mueller conducted.
    “After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup,” Falwell tweeted.
    Trump followed up the retweet with tweets of his own alleging two years of his presidency were “stollen” that “we will never be able to get back.”

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  22. Dave said on May 5, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    The late Sue Grafton wrote the Kinsey Milhonne books, A is for Alibi, and so on, making it to Y before sadly passing away. Oh, and Y was a sad final book for her, it wasn’t very good.

    Paretsky’s character detective is V. I. Warshawski.

    Quibble, Julie, I’m sorry.

    Congratulations to the new graduate.

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  23. diane said on May 6, 2019 at 12:09 am

    Pilot Joe-
    I think you’ve mentioned before that your daughter is a librarian. Is she speaking at a conference this week? I’m at one and recognize the last name. I won’t be attending that session because it is on something my library is already doing but it’s a somewhat technical and a pretty hot topic in library land (basically using APIs to let the public catalog software and the main library system software talk to each other better in order to improve efficiency and the patron experience). If it is her you should be proud.

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  24. Peggy said on May 6, 2019 at 12:39 am

    Love the pink shoes. I only went to my UM grad because I couldn’t figure out how to return the cap and gown otherwise. My parents wanted to go and I discouraged them. I’ve always felt bad about that. I didn’t go to my masters grad at U Chicago and one of my professors said he saw me there. Quite an accomplishment.

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  25. diane said on May 6, 2019 at 12:41 am

    And many congratulations to the new graduate!

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  26. ROGirl said on May 6, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Congratulations to the grad and Go Blue.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on May 6, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Diane,
    If your in Phoenix that is her, she was late out of Milwaukee last night and got in after midnight but doesn’t present till Tuesday.
    Very proud Pilot Joe

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  28. Julie Robinson said on May 6, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Dave, you’re so right and I’m so embarrassed. I’ve read both those series too. May I claim a brain fart?

    Much respect for Grafton’s family though, for not completing the alphabet. It would have been easy to have someone else write “Z”, then sit back and rake in the bucks.

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  29. john not mccain said on May 6, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Just finished reading Hand and Jim by Scott Eyeman. It’s about the 50 year friendship between Fonda and Stewart. Highly recommended.

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  30. john not mccain said on May 6, 2019 at 9:39 am

    And by Hand I mean Hank.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on May 6, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Political correctness meaning…what exactly? Unfair quotas for slow horses?

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  32. 4dbirds said on May 6, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Congratulations to Kate and to the proud mom and dad.

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  33. FDChief said on May 6, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Re: the Derby…

    Trust the Fool to get it wrong.

    Horse racing has a wonderful history of cheating, skulduggery, and generally dirty doin’s to the point where, like gymnastics, it has a set of supposedly-impartial judges (“stewards”) that are required to review and certify every result. They, or any of the runners, can file a protest based on…well, nothing other than sour grapes, if they want.

    Apparently the syndicate of the horse that placed did in this case. I read a rant in Deadspin about how this was a symbol of “video review” gone wild, as if filming races hadn’t been part of race officiating since Man-o-War.

    But Trump…Jesus wept. Somehow that dingus could spoil sex and a steak dinner in a tropical paradise.

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  34. JodiP said on May 6, 2019 at 11:07 am

    If I didn’t say on FB, a huge congrats to Kate and mom and dad!

    Julei, reading about your daughter’s experience gave the warm shivers. Wow.

    Deborah, All the Light We Cannot See, Homegoing and anything by Tana French. Also, if you want to keep WWII related books, Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance were really cool. I also loved Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God. Do you use Goodreads? I am on there. I love there are so many readers here.

    I didn’t go to my undergrad ceremony as I was going straight on to my master’s degree at Madison. For that ceremony, my folks and one of my brothers and my sister came. It was a big deal. I am still really proud I am the first and so far, only person in my family to earn a master’s degree.

    And really, what can I say about that Trump tweet? I have no faith in Republican leadership to stop him if he tries to extend his rule.

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on May 6, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Congratulations on raising such a fine young woman, Nancy.

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  36. Deborah said on May 6, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Trump is probably comparing the derby to his winning the presidency, or winning a big real estate development project. He wants it to be simple “winning is winning” rules and regulations are anathema to him.

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  37. Dave said on May 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Julie, I’ve read that Sue Grafton, who spent some time in California working as a scriptwriter, learned to despise the movie industry. She told her children that if they sold her character, Kinsey, to Hollywood, she would haunt them.

    I’ve read stories of speculation of presidents trying to extend their stay since George W. Bush, I believe, refusing to leave the White House. I would hope this is all these are. Oh, and I’ve no idea how a evangelical defends this man, oh wait, yes I do.

    I’m on Goodreads, although if you looked at it, you’d see all the junk mysteries I read. I’m currently reading David Bianculli’s book, The Platinum Age of Television, he’s the TV critic who is frequently on Fresh Air. I know that some say it’s another way we’re giving away our privacy but I really don’t worry about that in this case. Perhaps I’m more naive than I think.

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  38. Deborah said on May 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    The wildflowers are nice but I’m having major allergies with serious medicine head right now. My husband went out and got me some meds yesterday afternoon and I realize now that I ODed on them last night. I’m in a fog.

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  39. Deborah said on May 6, 2019 at 11:57 am

    In my medicated stupor I forgot to mention how cool Julie’s daughter’s experiences are. Julie, your daughter knows how to live.

    And Joe, I’m impressed that your daughter is a speaker at a librarian seminar. Small world, that Diane would recognize the name and remember that Joe has a librarian daughter.

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  40. Jakash said on May 6, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.
    Nobody knew that bankrupting casinos could be so complicated.
    Nobody knew that running a crooked “university” could be so complicated.
    Nobody knew that skimming cash from a faux “foundation” could be so complicated.
    Nobody knew that obstructing justice could be so complicated.
    Nobody knew that the rules for horse racing could be so complicated.
    And so it goes with the ongoing education of our real-life Chauncey Gardner.

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  41. john not mccain said on May 6, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    That’s not fair. Chauncey wasn’t smart but he didn’t get cruelty boners.

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  42. Jeff Borden said on May 6, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    A friend invited me to a FB site where righties and lefties offer their takes.

    It’s safe to say the conservatives simply do not care about the morality of our corrupt *president because their 401-Ks are doing well. They do not care about the *president’s effusive praise for murderers such as Putin, Kim and MBS because the market is soaring. They do not care about the trade war and tariffs, which are absolutely murdering Midwestern farmers and costing American consumers an estimated $1.5 billion so far, because unemployment is at a 50-year low. They sneer at climate change –even the ones who live in coastal Florida areas likely to be underwater if scenarios play out– because it would hurt the economy. In brief, they are utterly convinced a humming economy will not only see the Orange King reelected, but convincingly reelected.

    Considering how effectively Republicans have suppressed votes and its efforts at gerrymandering –and the fact voters will check their morality at the door if their pocketbooks are fat– who’s to say the conservatives are wrong?

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  43. Icarus said on May 6, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Congratulations to Kate and to the proud parents.

    My undergrad started at NMSU and ended at UIC, the two schools were literally day and night in terms of college town versus urban campus. I didn’t attend graduation ceremony because it was in December and I didn’t have a connection with anyone like I did back in Kirksville.

    For my graduate degree at DePaul, I did attend. We were walking toward the stage in the NOT air condition section of Navy Pier and told to wait for what felt like an ungodly amount of time. Our KeyNote speaker, perhaps you’ve heard of him, Jesse Jackson was running late. Why someone felt it was necessary for us to wait in the bowls of navy pier instead of on the stage I will never know. I also forgave Mr Jackson for being late because he was visiting his side chick.

    https://www.newswise.com/articles/five-speakers-at-depaul-u-commencement

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  44. Jakash said on May 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Gee, could their talk about the economy perhaps be a cover for keeping the rich-old-white-guy power-structure propped up for as long as possible? After all, the economy was doing quite well under Obama’s stewardship, especially compared with what he inherited. I don’t recall them voting to keep his policies moving forward. Back then, it was all about how the unemployment number was not a valid measure any longer. Many of the current benefits (tax cuts, ahem) have been purchased at the expense of exploding the deficit, which used to be *so* important to them. The fact that they don’t care about how the trade bullshit is adversely affecting the “real Americans” trying to sell soybeans is telling. Those damned elites!

    Apologies, john not mccain, for besmirching the memory of that fictional character with an analogy that was not 100% applicable. ; )

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  45. brian stouder said on May 6, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Love-love-LOVE the photo – and congratulations!

    I request permission to revise and extend these remarks a bit later, as our household also has a graduate of IU-Fort Wayne (or whatever they call it now) and a sophomore at IU Bloomington who we just brought home this past weekend, for the summer

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  46. Bob (not Greene) said on May 6, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    So, I just got this PR pitch from someone announcing that “24 year old entrepreneur and leader of the conservative ‘New Millennial Movement’ Simeon Boyle” (actually the pitch was from Simeon himself) was launching “a social network site friendly to fellow President Trump supporters for the purposes of connecting in the political sphere.”

    Get a load of this thing: http://goldeaglenetwork.com/index

    Every soldier in the Wehrmacht had this stitched above his right breast pocket: https://www.ebay.com/itm/REPRO-GERMAN-WEHRMACHT-EAGLE-PATCH-WW2-STYLE-BRAND-NEW-BADGE-THIRD-REICH-/273139086058

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  47. Jeff Borden said on May 6, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Jakash,

    I agree completely. It drives me crazy the Orange King gets credit for this economy, which began its bull run some 10 years ago. And, quite honestly, I see his policies –tariffs, trade wars, upsetting markets with a mere tweet– as deleterious to our economy in the long run. I was just sharing what I’ve read.

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  48. Colleen said on May 6, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Bassett, he graduated in 73. His name is Steve Brelsford. He was into the radio side of things, working at the student station. He was a classmate of Fort Wayne’s Republican chair, Steve Shine.

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  49. Suzanne said on May 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    If any of you are watching the Masterpiece Theatre “Les Mis” like I am, KQED has done a weekly recap that is pretty funny. Find the first one here:
    https://www.kqed.org/pop/110513/les-miserables-pbs-bbc-episode-1-recap-un-break-my-heart

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  50. David C. said on May 6, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    This economy is a house of cards, like W’s was. It was going great guns, until it wasn’t anymore and we’re just one catastrophe away from it happening again. That, I predict, will be John Bolton’s mustache starting a war with Iran. All it needs is to gin up a Gulf of Tonkin event.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on May 6, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    David C., I sure hope you’re not Cassandra.

    A war with Iran would unleash a global whirlwind. . .a real clash of civilizations level event. But this *administration is so fucking stupid, so unread, so arrogant in its ignorance, that a war with Iran seems completely possible.

    Certainly, a malignant narcissist like the Orange King –cheered on by hardline chickenhawks, religious loons anxious for the Rapture and the defense industry– is capable of convincing himself he alone can save the world.

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  52. Suzanne said on May 6, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    “A war with Iran would unleash a global whirlwind. . .a real clash of civilizations level event.”
    That is what Pence, Pompeo, Bolton, and their buddies want, hope for. They think that the Bible predicts it, the civilizations are supposed to clash because that’s God’s will, the Christian US will win, and then Jesus will return. It sounds crazy but that is what they believe. And they now hold the reigns of power

    https://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/08/18/dominionism-rising-a-theocratic-movement-hiding-in-plain-sight/

    https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/what-is-premillenialism.html

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  53. basset said on May 7, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Just missed him, Colleen, I started in fall 73.

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  54. basset said on May 7, 2019 at 12:10 am

    And, Suzanne, Heinlein was right and Nehemiah Scudder is out there somewhere at this very moment.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on May 7, 2019 at 12:24 am

    In the end, I was not what was called “college material”, not willing to work my ass off right out of high school to scrape up money, so I took off in pursuit of a baseball career, which was truncated by a draft notice, so I ended up being a military conscript and then a veteran. And then I was a college student, taking classes under the realm of IU, in trams in Fort Wayne, went broke and got sick and discovered my true calling: scratching out a living doing piece work in a factory, then many other warehouses and factories until I found one that had a union. But that first year I was out of the army, in the fall of 1971, I turned on the UM radio station (WUOM FM) and heard the dean of admissions and the university president welcome in the freshman class, who encouraged them to make the best of this great opportunity. I bet most of them did, but some probably dropped out, too, I imagine. It seems like last week nance and Alan and Kate visited U of Chicago and maybe other schools , deciding, and then picking U of M. I have never met any of you folks in person, but from as far away as possible, I am goddam proud of Kate for graduating from that place I have visited a couple hundred times, usually for football or Zingerman’s … my only “official” connection to the university an engraved brick in the plaza by gate 31, for which I donated a hundred bucks, years ago. Way to go, Kate Derringer, way to go. You did it. You did it.

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  56. Deborah said on May 7, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I graduated from Concordia in Nebraska, the only school my father would pay for. I had no idea that I could go somewhere else and scrape money together myself to pay for it and I certainly didn’t want to go to a school in Miami and live at home. I don’t list Concordia on Facebook because I don’t particularly want people who went there to look me up. My name is different now so I’m probably safe.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Hat tip, Basset.

    I would say that premillenialism really got its feet back under it with Hal Lindsey in the 70s. His recurring popularity has mystified me for decades.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2019 at 8:20 am

    I had to do some digging to come up with the title: “A Thief in the Night,” the first of a set of movies (three, four?) that were big on college campuses in the Seventies. My now wife and I got inveigled into a showing on campus in a big lecture hall, and were bemused by the theology and the narrative, let alone the cheesy production values, but it got under the skin of a number of our classmates. And it was “Thief in the Night” that lit the fuse for “Left Behind” and the culture around it (though it was triggered by Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth,” which went back to the Scofield Reference Bible, which I’ve learned to walk away from quickly when someone walks in carrying one.

    Anyone else remember those first rapture-ready movies in college in the Seventies? How did you react to them?

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  59. basset said on May 7, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Jeff TMMO, tell us about the Scofield Reference Bible… not familiar with it, or with the more widely used versions for that matter. We have two in our home, one that the local nondenominational church gave me upon high school graduation in 73, might have been four or five grads in our little town that year and we each got one. Mine was bound with the chapters out of sequence, so I took that as a sign… the other came from a coworker who was just being nice and gave me one with my name gold-stamped on the front. And they’re just sitting on the shelf, can’t exactly swap em in at the used-book store.

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  60. Snarkworth said on May 7, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Deborah, at the risk of seeming spammy, may I suggest my mystery/suspense novel, Same River Twice? It’s got toxic fungi, failing newspapers and Quakers gone wrong!
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DBJLG3Y/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Scofield was influenced by Darby, the Plymouth Brethren preacher who got the ball rolling for pre-tribulation, premillennial, dispensational end times preaching. Or to skip the ecclesial code language, the belief that the prophetic passages of Daniel, Ezekiel, Thessalonians, and Revelation could be read to tell us that Jesus at the end of the age/time would “rapture” believers into the air, and then there would be lots of horrible stuff (tribulations) happen, a final gory battle somewhere in the neighborhood of the hill or “Har” of Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley, aka Armageddon, and then Jesus would descend from the clouds, kick the heinie of the Anti-Christ who was a big operator of the tribulations that afflicted those left behind in the rapture, and sort out from them those who in the (opinions vary) seven years of tribulation had come to their senses and joined the winning team, and those who were still intent on condemnation and Perdition. A thousand years of that, and then the big “Game Over” rises onscreen, The End.

    Post-tribulationists said the Rapture of the saints (probably not you and me, Basset) would come after the circa seven years of trials, and you can see why that was a less popular interpretation. Post-millennialists said all the doom and sorting and ascending happened after Christ’s thousand year reign, which fits some passages better in a read-it-literally sense, but it has some practical downsides. It has a Jewish parallel in the Third Temple crowd, who think that if we (and that could include you and me, as well as them) could dynamite Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, and start rebuilding the Temple over the Foundation Stone, then you would set the stage and even in some way help usher in the return/arrival of God’s Moshiach, the Messiah, and a thousand-year reign of peace before the end of all things (with most unpleasantness taking place off stage). Post-millennialism in Christianity always lapses into “what can we do to trigger Christ’s return” which ends up justifying some weird and even bad behavior (end justifying means, etc.).

    Anyhow, Scofield was big in the late 1800s, and his Bible commentary was picked up by a guy named R.A. Torrey who was the American traveling evangelist after Dwight Moody, before Billy Sunday (who ushered in Billy Graham), and who published a series of volumes called “The Fundamentals” which essentially began what we call “Fundamentalism” — and like Scofield’s checklist for the end times (mixing and matching Bible verses, picking and choosing without regard to history or tradition, classic evangelicalism of the Twentieth Century), he created a checklist for being a true, fundamental Christian: inerrancy of the Bible, literal reading of Genesis, belief in the virgin birth, bodily resurrection of Jesus, and substitutionary atonement as the means by which Christ’s death forgives our sin. Miss any item on the list, and you flunk.

    So in my opinion, Scofield is a handbook for trouble, because the mindset and model of Christian faith and practice that grew out of it is, to me, not our best foot forward. It’s the forbidding and mechanical view of a distant terrifying God and a transactional relationship with Jesus that’s worth entering into just because of the ticket out of tribulation it promises otherwise.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2019 at 10:14 am

    On the other hand is the example of saints like Jean Vanier, who passed away this morning. May his name be blessed, and his tribe increase.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/jean-vanier-who-gave-homes-and-dignity-to-the-intellectually-disabled-dies-at-90/2019/05/07/31bd8bb2-650a-11e9-8985-4cf30147bdca_story.html

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  63. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 10:27 am

    The Late Great Planet Earth was a frequent topic of discussion in the church where I grew up, along with much discussion about God and Magog and who Russia represented (it was the Cold War), and how important being saved was because of the Rapture. And whether UPC codes are the Mark of the Beast.

    As I’ve mentioned before, abortion was not.

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  64. Deborah said on May 7, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Same here Sherri, abortion wasn’t an issue in church or anywhere for that matter, when I was a kid. It wasn’t legal until later but happened all the time. I remember finding out that a neighbor lady down the street went to Puerto Rico to have one.

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  65. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Even after Roe v. Wade, abortion wasn’t an issue that was talked about. It wasn’t really until the 90s the abortion became the organizing principle of white evangelicals. I guess the Cold War ended, and child-snatching Satanists weren’t going to hold up as a political tool. Public schools were too easy to opt out of.

    Having lost gay marriage, and with victory on abortion in sight, the search is on for the next political super villain. So far, trans people seem to be the target.

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  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    NOT from The Onion:

    Resolution On Abortion, adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention, June 1971:
    WHEREAS, Christians in the American society today are faced with difficult decisions about abortion; and
    WHEREAS, Some advocate that there be no abortion legislation, thus making the decision a purely private matter between a woman and her doctor; and
    WHEREAS, Others advocate no legal abortion, or would permit abortion only if the life of the mother is threatened;
    Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that this Convention express the belief that society has a responsibility to affirm through the laws of the state a high view of the sanctity of human life, including fetal life, in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves; and
    Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother

    Resolution On Abortion And Sanctity Of Human Life, adopted at the Southern Baptist Convention, June 1974:
    WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have historically held a high view of the sanctity of human life, and
    WHEREAS, The messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis in 1971 adopted overwhelmingly a resolution on abortion, and
    WHEREAS, That resolution reflected a middle ground between the extreme of abortion on demand and the opposite extreme of all abortion as murder, and
    WHEREAS, That resolution dealt responsibly from a Christian perspective with complexities of abortion problems in contemporary society;
    Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that we reaffirm the resolution on the subject adopted by the messengers to the St. Louis Southern Baptist Convention meeting in 1971, and
    Be it further RESOLVED, that we continue to seek God’s guidance through prayer and study in order to bring about solutions to continuing abortion problems in our society.

    You can see the further evolution of the SBC position at this link:
    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/baptist/sbcabres.html

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  67. Jakash said on May 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    It’s kinda stunning what “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” can get twisted into.

    Some of it sounds much more like a cheesy graphic novel or superhero movie than anything that could be inferred from the Gospels. Of course, lots of folks “believe” lots of silly stuff. It’s when so many of those invested in these dangerous theories somehow latch onto a libertine, church-less, serial-adulterer and lifelong cheat and con-man as the preordained vessel for enacting their fantasies that it gets even kookier. I could have believed that blind, rapturous support of a President Pence could have energized that crowd. The fact that they’re willing to give the Pussy-grabber-in-Chief the same unwavering allegiance still amazes me.

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  68. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Yep, that was before the conservative takeover of the SBC, led by the likes of Paige Patterson, just fired last year over his covering up of sexual abuse incidents. The SBC I grew up in was bad enough, but it’s worse now.

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  69. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I usually try to ignore trump’s tweets as noise, but this one about the Kentucky Derby has stuck with me, not because of the political correctness nonsense. I think it’s because the tweet is related to everything else he does: attacking the media, attacking judges. He doesn’t believe in neutral third parties or expertise other than his own. You are either on his side, or you are against him. You either confirm what he already believes, which means you are smart, or you don’t, and you are dumb, because by definition, no one is smarter than he is.

    This was merely annoying when he was a celebrity, but it’s fucking dangerous when he’s the president and has a political party that’s happy to back him in their quest to hang on to power. We are broken, and I really don’t think it matters if we elect a Democrat as President in 2020, because unless that President is willing to implement radical change that would make Barack Obama cringe, the Republicans and the judges who have infested the Federal judiciary will block everything.

    The Republicans do not believe in democracy. It’s past time to recognize this.

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  70. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    An amazing story from a mother about her son’s there and back again journey to the alt right.

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/05/05/what-happened-after-my-13-year-old-son-joined-the-alt-right/

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  71. Julie Robinson said on May 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Apropos of nothing I’m waiting at the airport to go to Orlando and we are the only flight running for the rest of the night. This is still a small town. It’s tumbleweeds.

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  72. alex said on May 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Pool Boy redux.

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  73. Joe Kobiela said on May 7, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Sherri,
    Not putting much faith into a article written by Anonymous, just as I wouldn’t put any faith in a right wing article written anonymously.
    In better news my daughters presentation went very well in Phoenix today, daughter #2and husband fly out in the morning to meet her and head to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon with a stop in Sedona. Dad got them hotel rooms with his Hilton points.
    Pilot Joe

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  74. Sherri said on May 7, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Not sure what you’re doubting about the story, Pilot Joe. The targeting of depressed young men online by the alt right has been well documented, as has the algorithmic cesspool of YouTube. Perhaps it strains incredulity that the boy managed to come back?

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  75. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Sherri,
    The problem is it’s written anonymously, no way to Verify anything
    Pilot Joe

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  76. Deborah said on May 8, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Holy cow, the scandals just keep coming and the Republicans are lawless. What a mess.

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  77. LAMary said on May 8, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I’ve wondered why D and Cs were such a common procedure back in the fifties and sixties. Who knows.

    On a different topic: I have a stupid long commute with the new job. I travel from the newly hip northeast end of LA to the edge of Ventura county, land of huge wildfires and Kardashians. There are lots of very expensive exotic cars on that end of the trip. Yesterday I saw a Lotus 7, British racing green with a yellow racing stripe and the number 5 in a white circle. I was on the phone with the in house Brit at the time and he identified it as a likely replica of Jim Clark’s race car from sixties. The driver was a young guy with shaggy blond hair. I didn’t get a good enough look to see if he was someone famous. Next time I see him I’m rolling down the window and yelling “Jim Clark?” at him.

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  78. Sherri said on May 8, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Did you even read the article, Joe, or just see that it was anonymous and decide it was worthless?

    Anonymity, and anonymous sources, are a tool. A tool can be employed badly, but that does not make the tool bad. Anonymous does not automatically mean not credible; you have to evaluate credibility with other resources.

    You also have to consider the context of the anonymity. Is the anonymity to protect the source from retaliation, as is the case here, or is it to preserve access to power, as is often the case with anonymous sources with strategic leaks? Cui bono?

    Would you have actually done any research had there been a name on the story?

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  79. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Sherri,
    Sorry if you can’t take responsibility for your writing it’s not worth reading, and that goes for both sides.
    La Mary, my guess is he wouldn’t have a clue who Jimmy Clark is.
    Pilot Joe

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  80. LAMary said on May 8, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Joe, I bet he would. This was a very well done restoration done to match Jim Clark’s car.

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  81. Sherri said on May 8, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Pilot Joe, thank you for demonstrating the privileged mindset of a straight white man so clearly. You seldom have to consider the risks of speaking truth to power when you are power.

    On a different note, here’s a fascinating interview about our relationship to the stuff we discard: https://discardstudies.com/2019/05/06/adam-minter-how-things-flow/

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  82. Heather said on May 8, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Deep Throat was an anonymous source.

    This abortion bill in Georgia sounds worse and worse. Women can be prosecuted for going out of state to get one, as well as for “suspicious” miscarriages. Wonder how it’s going to play when women start going to jail?

    https://twitter.com/mjs_DC/status/1125857380468760582

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  83. Deborah said on May 8, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Can you imagine suffering a miscarriage and then be investigated because someone decides it’s suspicious? It seems like it is time for businesses to boycott Georgia. No conventions in Atlanta, no tourism etc. Draconian.

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  84. ROGirl said on May 8, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Georgia, or the Republic of Gilead

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  85. 4dbirds said on May 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Sherri, why do you even bother with that awful troll?

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  86. susan said on May 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Sherri (and, well, whoever feels the urge to respond to provocateurs …) – Rather than trying to engage thoughtfully with trolls, just post a favorite—or appropriate—recipe. Soon shuts them up, out of frustration. But they usually return because they can’t help themselves.

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  87. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Sherri,
    So some one on the left writes anonymously you believe it wholeheartedly? I hardly think you would give someone on the right the same leeway, and Susan just because we disagree I still respect your thoughts and the way you perceive things, it’s a shame you can’t do the same. But I suppose it’s hard when you know your the smartest person in the room yet those pesky conservatives just won’t acknowledge your the smartest person in the room.
    Pilot Joe

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  88. basset said on May 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Those pesky liberals, don’t you mean? Look again at Sherri’s comment above.

    unrelated: as I have mentioned here before, I could give a shit about college football, but in this part of the world the University of Tennessee’s decline over the last few years has been pretty hard to miss. So, of course there’s a UT-orange cap in circulation… “Make UT Football Great Again.”

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  89. Scout said on May 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Internet 101: Don’t engage with trolls. Ever.

    Yesterday was quite a day for news. Here is a compilation from the blog of one my favorite Twitter follows. https://angrystaffer.com/index.php/2019/05/07/daily-news-dump-may-7/

    The ACLU is all over the GA 6 week abortion bill, but can we even trust the SCOTUS to uphold settled law at this point?

    This morning the House Judiciary Voted For Resolution to hold Barr in contempt of court. Now what?

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  90. Connie said on May 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    So Fort Wayne folk I have run into an assortment of news articles that tells me there is some kind of uproar going on with your library relating to books being removed and discarded. All kinds of accusations are being made. Anyone following this?

    I thought it was weird when Jeff Gill retired and they hired a new library director with almost no public library experience, rather years at the American Library Association offices. According to the article I read they were pleased to hire someone who knew all the important librarians in the country.

    If you go to the library web page you can see a document from the board that addresses questions on the issue.

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  91. Sherri said on May 8, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Pilot Joe, if you don’t want to be regarded as a troll, try not acting like a troll. I wrote quite extensively about the process I use to evaluate credibility, and you have dismissed it.

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  92. Deborah said on May 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I don’t know about you guys but I’m ready for impeachment proceedings to begin. I fear it’s the only way to get the truth out there. The Republicans are craven, lawless, assholes and must be stopped. I realize the senate won’t go along with it, but at least there will be a lot of truth out there about Trump’s corruption, conspiracy, obstruction, all of it. Get it out there.

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  93. alex said on May 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Connie, the scuttlebutt to which I’ve been privy is that the new director is not only flying by the seat of her pants, she’s also an ice queen who doesn’t respect the opinions or input of anyone working there. She’s trying to impose arbitrary philistinish metrics on the collections — if they don’t use it we need to lose it — and people aren’t happy about it.

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  94. Joe Kobiela said on May 8, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Oh, I understand now, definition of a troll,
    Any one who doesn’t agree with me.
    Got it.
    Pilot Joe

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  95. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Re: #89 from Connie — just to remind folks, not me (says the Ohio Jeff Gill).

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  96. Sherri said on May 8, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    You didn’t make an argument to disagree with, Pilot Joe.

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  97. Connie said on May 8, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Jeff Krull. Got three letters right anyway.

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  98. Suzanne said on May 8, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I only hear bits and pieces about the Allen County Library situation but it appears the new director and leadership botched their response to the questions about what they were weeding and how much. They had a public meeting and apparently failed to give credible numbers on what was gone and how they counted. I know a few people that recently retired from there and all said it was a good time to get out. Weeding is necessary in any library but it seems they’ve not kept items like all the volumes in a series or things like that. It’s been a mess but if nothing else, shows that the residents of Allen Co take their library seriously.

    And on the vaccine front:
    https://www.chron.com/local/prognosis/article/Texas-state-rep-calls-vaccines-sorcery-13826725.php
    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2019/02/28/texas-lawmaker-promoting-anti-vaccine-bill-wrongly-suggests-measles-can-treated-antibiotics
    It seems Texas has become the epicenter of ignorance.

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  99. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Connie, I will write you a book on this when I have more time later tonight. There are basic library philosophies being debated, as well as intrusion of publishers. It is a battle for the soul of the institution, if you’ll allow me a dramatic moment.

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  100. Sherri said on May 8, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Ohio is trying to outdumb Georgia, by introducing an abortion ban that requires reimplanting ectopic pregnancies into the uterus.

    https://wosu2.drupal.publicbroadcasting.net/post/new-ohio-bill-would-ban-most-private-insurance-coverage-abortion

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  101. Julie Robinson said on May 8, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Connie, I’m the daughter of a librarian and a weekly patron for almost 40 years, have a close friend who works there, and was employed by the library when the radio reading service was rescued/absorbed by ACPL. So I’ve been through all the employee orientation and ongoing training sessions, as well as had access to all the policy manuals and emails over the years. It’s been close to ten years since I was there, but I’ve kept in touch through my friend.

    The new director fired four longtime and beloved employees within a year of two of her tenure. They were not offered the opportunity to gracefully retire, they were publicly fired, though without good explanations. My friend was understandably quite upset by this.

    Soon after that a gag rule was imposed on employees and they are not allowed to say anything negative to the public in or outside the library. It’s a fireable offense.

    Then the public started noticing that shelves looked empty, and when they went searching for items they had checked out previously, learned they had been purged. The explanation is that ACPL is not a research library, doesn’t have space, and never had a save the last copy policy.

    But we are the second largest system in the state and we are used for research. There are two sub-basements with acres of space, and though it may not have been written, there was a save the last copy policy. I learned these things in training.

    The branch managers used to be able to tailor their collections for the community they were in, and could order the books and materials they wanted. This meant that a couple of branches had more for African-Americans, while one had a whole wall of Amish romances. They could also weed as needed. Now both those come from the main office.

    Except the weeding instructions actually come from Baker & Taylor, coincidentally also the largest provider of books to the library. It smells very, very fishy. The director was not able to provide accurate numbers on circulation or holding, claiming they never kept those in the past, but will in the future. BS. The books were pulped instead of being offered to other area nursing homes or schools.

    The ranks of employees have already been thinned, and anyone without full professional credentials (MLS) will only be given 30 hours/week and no benefits.

    Yet when I search the catalog, I rarely can find a new book on CDs, for example. I mentioned this to my friend and she said a lot of times only one copy of a book will be ordered, and if they get it on CDs they won’t get a text copy.

    But people prefer ebooks and eaudio so we don’t need all those physical books, right? The thing is, we aren’t getting more copies of those either, and the wait time continues to increase. And we’re only allowed to have five on hold, so you can go a long time without having anything to check out.

    I want to know where all the money is going. I want the board to ask hard questions and not accept weaselly answers. Under Jeff Krull they didn’t need to, and now they do. It breaks my heart to see our fine library being decimated.

    That’s just a little bit of what’s going on.

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  102. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 8, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    I’m just glad it’s not Jeff Gill.

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  103. David C. said on May 9, 2019 at 6:13 am

    I have to say, Sherri, that Washingtonian story made the needle move on my BS detector. What was it warning against? Watch out with your #MeToo stuff or your totally innocent boy, who has been labeled as edgy and liberal and even has gay and trans friends, will laugh at something totally innocent. That totally innocent thing will be misconstrued by some girl as harassment and be reported to the school and your totally innocent boy will be subjected to the school’s sexual harassment star chamber where he will be forced to confess his crimes and apologize and then he becomes a Nazi. Which their great parenting skills, love, and patience was able to reel him back from. That’s laid on a bit thick, don’t you think?

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  104. Connie said on May 9, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Thanks for the update on the Allen County Library situation. I read the many pages transcript of the questions and board answers and see lots of issues.

    Not knowing how many things you own? Very odd.

    The one that stuck out to me was that later this year they will replace their online catalog and checkout system with something called WISE, which is an online product from OCLC for which Allen County will be a beta tester. Having changed our system over last year to a well known system and having a myriad of issues, I have no faith in what is likely to be a troublesome product. But it makes her one of the big kids to hang out with OCLC.

    The questions contained a lot of questions about the potential use of RFID in the library system. My impression is that the questioners are opposed to rfid. I am an RFID library and I love it. It is an amazing efficiency tool for handling checkin and returns.

    My very first impression of Southard when she was hired was not a good one. This just reinforces that.

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  105. Connie said on May 9, 2019 at 9:18 am

    That proposed Ohio abortion bill is nuts if they think an ectopic pregnancy can be transplanted into the uterus. My mom didn’t even know she had an ectopirc pregnancy until her fallopian tube ruptured. I have decided that only women should be able to make rules about womens bodies because men are just stupic about women’s bodies.

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  106. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Orlando has RFID and it speeds up checkout a lot. So simple, just place the book on the sensor area, no looking for the bar code. On ACPL’s older books it is iften on the inside cover. So I don’t understand that objection either.

    Maybe if the new catalog goes well the director will get herself hired elsewhere. On both counts we can only hope.

    Edit: my mom said the same thing about women and their bodies last night. Librarians are smart!

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  107. Deborah said on May 9, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Things seem closer to Handmaids tale than ever, what with the draconian abortion bills and the behavior of a completely autocratic president. Surely this can’t go on? I think it’s time that any one with any voice speak up now. Scream.

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  108. Sherri said on May 9, 2019 at 9:56 am

    David C makes an argument to engage with, in case you’re wondering, Pilot Joe. Unfortunately, I can’t right now, though he makes good points. I’m off to the airport to TN to visit my parents. Trying to hang on to my sanity…

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  109. Jeff Borden said on May 9, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Several years ago, the NYT Sunday magazine explored the outlawing of abortion in El Salvador. It was some scary shit. There are women serving lengthy terms in squalid prisons for ending their pregnancies. And women who suffer a miscarriage are required to see a government doctor, who will verify whether it was a genuine miscarriage. I suppose that’s what the geniuses behind these abortion bills are seeking. What’s particularly heinous is not allowing an abortion after rape or incest.

    I suppose all these extremely harsh laws are being passed with an eye toward seeing them argued at the Supreme Court level, where our new Justice Beers can have his say in abolishing Roe v. Wade.

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  110. Deborah said on May 9, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I’m confused about something: if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the SCOTUS does abortion become illegal in all states or in just the states that want it to be illegal?

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  111. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2019 at 10:23 am

    And Fort Wayne’s new Republican mayoral candidate handily defeated a more experienced and moderate opponent, because he is right to life. Never mind that abortion isn’t legislated at the city level, as the other candidate, an oncologist, pointed out.

    Sherri, I hope this isn’t an emergency trip, but no matter what I know it will be difficult.

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  112. diane said on May 9, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Wow about the ACPL!

    We just implemented RFID last year (it was my project and it was a bear). It is very expensive to implement (both in money and staff time) but well worth it in the long run. So what I’m wondering is, is this a library facing extreme budget issues and has to cut back on the collection and staff or is it one that can readily afford RFID? You can’t be both. How do you justify RFID in a time of severe budget problems? How do you justify cutting the collection and staff benefits if you have a healthy budget?

    Cutting back on MLS staff hours and benefits (thereby making the position very unattractive) strikes me as a sign of very insecure director who doesn’t want competent staff around her as opposed to a good director who wants to lead an excellent staff and thereby provide excellent service. My first library director drilled that into my head: get the very best people you can and let them do their thing.

    Admittedly, a save the last copy policy is very unusual in a public library.

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  113. Suzanne said on May 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I was shocked that Crawford in Fort Wayne was defeated by this Smith guy. My thought exactly as was yours, Julie. What does being pro-life have to do with running a city? That isn’t legislated at the city level.
    But I cannot tell you the number of people I know who will vote for a rat in an alley if it claims to be pro-life. They look at nothing else. Nothing.

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  114. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Excellent point about the budget, diane. And I should have made it clearer that professional staff are still full time with benefits. But the branches have a lot of staff who don’t have their MLS. In most cases a patron wouldn’t know the difference. But they get neither benefits or full time status.

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  115. Deborah said on May 9, 2019 at 11:41 am

    This explains a lot about executive privilege and next steps for Dems https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-protective-assertion-executive-privilege.

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  116. Heather said on May 9, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Connie @104, indeed. I liked this tweet:

    Pop Quiz for Cis Male Pundits. Without Googling:
    -Define “ectopic pregnancy.”
    -What do the following acronyms stand for? LMP, NVP, IUD, D&C
    -What body part is cut in an episiotomy?
    -Name three off-label uses for hormonal birth control.

    Betting 95% of men couldn’t answer any of those.

    https://twitter.com/KateHarding/status/1126279903270330368

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  117. alex said on May 9, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Careful what you say about Greta Southard. She’s probably scouring our social media to see which friends of ours are library employees so she can fire them.

    As for Fort Wayne’s GOP mayoral nominee, this is history repeating itself: Low turnout. People complacent and overconfident that the sane moderate Republican with good name recognition and a stellar reputation would take the primary in a landslide. Instead the loony fringe turned out and gave a surprise upset victory to a dog-whistling douchebag.

    Attorney and former council member Tim Pape has written some scathing editorials about the nominee:

    From last September when Smith first announced his candidacy:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/columns/20180913/the-wrong-message

    And most recently here:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/opinion/columns/20190425/threat-of-theocracy

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  118. Julie Robinson said on May 9, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Alex, I thought both the Pape columns were strong and would dissuade anyone from voting for Smith. Should have remembered that those who needed to see them probably don’t pick up the “liberal” paper.

    Scaer is a prof at Concordia Seminary and probably good buddies with Kevin L.

    Somewhere someone dug up MedPro records and found they provide insurance to, wait for it, abortion providers. Hmm. I believe that story was also in the JG.

    I really fear Smith will be elected. Henry can be bumbling and he makes himself vulnerable.

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  119. basset said on May 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I didn’t know two of the acronyms and two of the uses, guess that makes me an oppressor.

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  120. Diane said on May 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    No basset, that makes you someone that should not be voting on bills affected female reproductive issues or containing those terms without learning them first. I based on your posts I don’t think you would do that.

    Julie, I’m sorry, I misread your post. But i still think it isn’t a good idea on your new Director’s part. There are lots of nonMLS library jobs that benefit from having full time benefited staff.

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  121. Heather said on May 9, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Exactly, Diane. Basset, it’s very frustrating when men make these kinds of comments when we’re pointing out the insanity of this situation. This isn’t a joke to us. This is going to have really, really bad real-world consequences for actual women.

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  122. Jeff Borden said on May 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Women will surely love the Republicans in the Alabama legislature, which devolved into chaos today when GOPers tried to ram through a law criminalizing abortion that would include a sentence of up to 99 years for women who terminate a pregnancy. There would be NO exceptions for rape and incest.

    BTW, the infant mortality rate in Alabama is almost twice the American average. And the state is in the bottom five for poverty at 19.2%. It’s not like these high-minded knobs don’t have plenty of other areas to work on down there.

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  123. Jeff Borden said on May 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Deborah,

    According to the Washington Post, the abortion issue would revert to individual states. Four states — Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota– have laws on their books already that would immediately ban abortions. Nine states including California already have laws explicitly protecting abortion rights. If the issue went back to the states, it’s pretty clear abortion would break along red state/blue state lines.

    When I was in college in the early 1970s and abortion was illegal in Ohio, it wasn’t unusual to have people come by the dorm room seeking money to pay for a trip to New York State, where the procedure was legal. Some clinics in upstate NY offered to meet clients at the airport, take them for the procedure, make sure they were stabilized and return them to the airport.

    If abortion is returned to the states, it will be the poor who pay the price, as usual. Those with funds will visit a blue state and take care of business. The others will be out of luck.

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  124. Dexter Friend said on May 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I am pretty goddam outspoken, admittedly sometimes when my opinions contain flawed intel. The rare times when conversation turns to women’s reproductive issues, I step away and zip my lip. That is not to say I don’t vote for pro-choice issues across the board, but I don’t horn-in with outspokenness, that just ain’t right. My first fiance had a dilation and curettage , so I know what that is, and I know a little about what the old folks used to call “female trouble”, but I know very little. Usually I believe all people should speak their minds, but the few times I have , on these topics, I have had my ass handed to me, along with a rag to shove into my pie hole.

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  125. David C. said on May 9, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Sherri @ 107. I look forward to what you have to say. I feel like I’m missing something in the article. Wouldn’t be surprising. I’m dyslexic, so my reading comprehension can be poor. Safe travels.

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  126. alex said on May 9, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Julie, here’s Kevin L weighing in, and he’s dropped his usual self-righteous swaggering in favor of a realistic assessment of the state of the local GOP. He knows it’s a house divided and that it doesn’t bode well for Smith.

    https://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local-news/2019/05/09/kevin-leininger-it-will-take-more-than-gorilla-glue-to-put-gop-humpty-dumpty-together-again/

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