Dumb guys.

Monday and Tuesday have fulfilled their early promise of being insanely busy, but now, we may be entering a bit of a glide pattern, which is to say, there’s nothing on the calendar, but I just remembered I have a Game of Thrones dinner party to host over the weekend.

Eh, not to worry — good friends, and just two of them. It’s the dragon-egg cake that I’m worried about pulling off.


I don’t know what else to do when state legislatures, including my own, are falling over themselves to craft the most draconian anti-abortion legislation, in hopes of getting to be the first through the door of the Supreme Court. Might as well think of baking.

One of my colleagues said the speaker of the Florida House referred to women as “the host body” several times on the floor, while professing his — you knew it was a man, right? — devotion to protecting the contents of that body, or at least what’s in her uterus. Not that he could find it with a headlamp and a Gray’s Anatomy:

This is centuries’ worth of an attitude that, though conception might be a biological miracle, it’s also a gross one, filled with pudge and sludge that — la la la la la! — decent people are allowed to run screaming from. Plenty of folks are willing to treat fetuses as precious citizens, but seem to regard the bodies that nurture them as embarrassing slums. At a party, I once saw a new father proudly call his new kid a “princess” and his wife a “champ,” but then showily cover his ears when the wife mentioned the word “placenta.” As if the placenta wasn’t precisely what had allowed Princess to thrive.

…If you view postpartum women as “fat,” then you might be inclined to see women as slightly less disciplined. If you don’t know what a placenta does, you might start to think your wife’s body is just gross.

Uh-huh. I can’t believe some of these bumpkins are writing legislation — sponsoring it anyway; I’m sure it’s written by lobbyists for the anti-abortion cartel — about women’s bodies.

So here, if you want to feel sad, at least feel sad about something beautiful — this lovely essay about the death of a beloved horse:

If there is such a thing in the world as a good death, Roany had one. It was almost as if he had heard Mike’s offer, looked at his watch, and said, Alright then, Wednesday, and how about in that stand of spruce on the other side of the hill? What I’ve always said about Roany is that he was a horse who never wanted to cause anybody trouble, and he remained that horse till the last second of his life and beyond.

Late that night, I watched the Perseids burn past my bedroom window, and imagined my old Roany up there, muscles ­restored to their prime and shining, burgundy coat alongside the white of Pegasus, both of them with their heads held high, and galloping.

With many apologies to our own Charlotte, who lives and writes there, some of these latter-day Western writers can bore me. It’s almost a formula: Some very specific observances of the natural world (a Western tanager alighted near my face, then flew off into the scrub pine, etc.), perhaps mixed in with some oblique references to personal heartbreak (the day we lost the baby, a blue norther roared down from Canada), mix, remix and go fishing. But this one is just right, Perseids and all.

Here’s something I wrote, free of Western tanagers, but there are Canada geese and a blue heron: Trash fishing in a zombie hellscape.

And that’s about it for me today. I’m so tired. Happy hump day.

Posted at 9:35 pm in Current events |

82 responses to “Dumb guys.”

  1. Sherri said on May 15, 2019 at 12:20 am

    “The egg in the lab does not apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

    So, not really about the embryos, huh? Remember when the Republicans used to get in a huff and claim it was unfair when we said they were waging a war on women? Fun times.

    When they overturn Roe, what will they set their sights on next to keep the base engaged? Will they throw away the fig leaf and go for Brown v Board?

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  2. alex said on May 15, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Sherri, I doubt anyone would bother to go after Brown v. Board at this point since it is being so well circumvented by voucher systems that allow people to take their tax dollars out of public schools and funnel them into religious institutions and the DeVos Industrial Complex.

    Thanks to Mark H in the last thread for the Corvair story. I remember reading that the second-generation Corvair (’65-’69) didn’t have the same handling issues that the ’60-’64 models did, but that Nader’s muckraking pretty much destroyed the brand and sales fell to almost nil after 1966. If you think about it, by today’s standards all of the cars built in the 1960s were death traps, and we have Ralph Nader to thank for making consumer safety a thing.

    Trash fishing. Even if it takes off it’ll still be a drop in the bucket, mother fuck it. We could use another First Lady like Lady Bird to do for lagoons and channels what she did for the highways. What’s with this “Be Best” shit? What is it and what’s it doing for anybody?

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  3. David C. said on May 15, 2019 at 7:56 am

    From what I recall as a kid hearing talk about Corvairs, nobody complained about the handling. Everybody complained about their shitty heaters and defrosters though. So I don’t think the swing arm suspension killed the Corvair. The air-cooled engine did.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on May 15, 2019 at 8:48 am

    A 1967 gold Corvair was my first car, and who doesn’t love their first car? It was freedom, especially since we lived in the country, with no bus system except yellow school buses.

    Yes, it was a piece of junk that broke down if driven for more than 30 minutes. Yes, it tried to asphyxiate me every time I put the heat on. So I rolled down the window and only went short distances and it was enough. It was more than enough. It was the only car I’ve ever been excited to own.

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  5. Suzanne said on May 15, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Well, Trump is making money for some people, not the country as a whole.

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  6. Sherri said on May 15, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Alex, given that the Republican Senate has now approved given lifetime appointments to the Federal bench to several people who refused to say Brown v Board was decided correctly, I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Abortion was just the issue that tested well, it wasn’t the issue that drove the process. There’s a straight line between Brown v Board, the Bob Jones IRS case, and the Moral Majority. It just wasn’t politically expedient to fight directly then. Now, with the racist-in-chief in the White House and Roe v Wade on the ropes, do you think people like Jerry Falwell Jr won’t go for it?

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on May 15, 2019 at 11:19 am

    “So you got knocked up, huh? Not so high and mighty now, are you, snooty bitch who wouldn’t give me the time of day? Have fun squeezing the little bastard out.”

    —What 90% of abortion opponents think but 89% are smart enough not to say aloud

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  8. Sherri said on May 15, 2019 at 11:20 am

    David Frum tweeted “How do we restore the desire to bear children?”

    My question in return, why do men this clueless still have a national stage for their writing?

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  9. Deborah said on May 15, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Sherri, you may be right about overturning Brown v Board to rally the base eventually but marriage equality is probably after Roe.

    Wouldn’t subsiding farmers with taxpayer dollars be basically socialism?

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  10. Suzanne said on May 15, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, Deborah, silly you. Farm subsidies are not socialism because farmers generally vote Republican. Duh. Socialism is only when other people get the money; people you don’t like.

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  11. susan said on May 15, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Deborah @9 – ƒû¢king western farmers/ranchers/orchardists have been socialists for more than a hundred years, starting with the “homestead” act (hey, there, free land!); and then publicly subsidized irrigation and flood control and electricity (think Grand Coulee Dam and then all the other Federally-licensed dams); farm-to-market roads; Rural Electrification Act; county extension services; rural telephone services; libraries; endless socialism. But them farmers would be the last ones to admit that, or even think that. But publicly-financed irrigation is a huge one in the west.

    Self-sufficient, my arse.

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  12. Heather said on May 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I’d like to know why I’m expected to continue fully contributing to society when those in charge don’t even want to recognize me as a full person with rights over my body.

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  13. JodiP said on May 15, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Meanwhile, in liberal Minnesota, in my county, the death rate for brown and black babies up to one year old is *twice* the rate of white babies. I have a new kick-ass county commissioner who is not taking this anymore. She has some good allies on the board with her. She is the first person of color to sit on the board, and ousted a popular,liberal white man who’d held his seat for 27 years.

    I think I’ve written before about two college students I’ve become friends with. One came over last night; he is of Nigerian descent, and lived in London until mom moved here when he was around 12. They were homeless for a while and his mom is still really poor. However, he is getting scholarships to finish school, and is in good shape. I’d recently bought some high-end olive oils and vinegars, and we had so much fun tasting and comparing them to our standard Costco brands! I was pretty relieved the expensive stuff really was better. It was finally nice enough to eat on the patio and we talked for hours. The young woman is vice-president of the student body and is passionate about social justice. The college is in my commissioner’s district, so I want to make sure they know about the next community meeting. Anyone can show up and ask questions and raise concerns. They are pretty powerful.

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  14. David C. said on May 15, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    So much of farming is a tax scam even without subsidies. The biggest landowner in most rural areas is the local implement dealer. He gets that land when the farmer can keep up the payments on his implements. So he’s holding a lot of land and is only interested in farming enough to get the favorable tax treatment until he sells it to be developed into McMansions or whatever. Something like half of all farms make no money. Some of these are struggling small farmers, but quite a lot are “farmers” looking for tax write offs.

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  15. Suzanne said on May 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Another brilliant observation from David Brooks in his recent NYT piece (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/opinion/working-class-men.html):
    “That is to say, when you have a capitalist economic system that emphasizes competition, dynamism and individual self-interest, you need a culture that celebrates cooperation, stability and committed relationships.”

    As if these two things live in complete isolation from each other and hyper, unfettered capitalism has no origins in the culture. Ok, Mr Brooks.

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  16. Deborah said on May 15, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I messaged my niece a couple of days ago to ask her some farm questions. Her husband farms land in his family for several generations in Minnesota. They live in the big family farm house with his mom, they have a 3 year old kid now. I asked her if they’re doing ok with the tariff fiasco, she said that a few years ago her husband made a decision to turn their farm organic and China isn’t a big market for that, mostly the US and Europe care about that. She also said that around 2014 farm land rentals went through the roof, a result of Wall St investing in farm land because of the 2008 housing crash. She also said that when older family farmers die off their non farming children rent out the land at exorbitant rates.

    Also farm related: my husband has been managing his uncle’s financial affairs and he has properties around the country that they’ve had appraised for various reasons, some they are selling etc. His uncle bought some farmland in northern Illinois, a misguided investment years ago into a subdivision or something that a friend of his advised. The subdivision failed (thank goodness) and the land has been rented out to farmers instead. It turns out that of all the properties that Uncle J owns, that is the most valuable by a lot. Who knew?

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  17. Sherri said on May 15, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Deborah, while Republicans find same sex marriage icky and would love to overturn Obergefell, I think the fact that the issue affects white men will slow them down. They’re bullies; they punch down.

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  18. Deborah said on May 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Sherri, interesting point. You are certainly right that they’re bullies. They love to fight.

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  19. Suzanne said on May 16, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Good grief. The American Legion in my area is having a “Right to Bear Arms” informational program. “It’s open to everybody, not just Legion members!”

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  20. Connie said on May 16, 2019 at 11:29 am

    So anyone else watching the Fosse/Verdun mini series? I am really enjoying it.

    I went looking for old clips of the two of them together and found and watched a number of dance clips featuring her or his work or both. You know what I discovered? In those days women in film didn’t have boobs. Really, even when being felt up there wasn’t anything in the bra cup. I actually found this almost immediately obvious in all of the clips. I mentioned it to my girlfriend and she said she thinks women in film began having boobs in 1990.

    Your thoughts?

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  21. Jakash said on May 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    My main thought is, if that doesn’t start a conversation around here, I don’t know what will. (Though Corvairs did pretty well!)

    Other than that, I guess I’d just venture that if you’re looking for “boobs” in film, dance clips wouldn’t seem to be a likely place to start the search. Laurel and Hardy were boobs, e.g. Oh, not that kind? ; ) Or is the dance-film part stipulated, and something changed in 1990 even with regard to them?

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  22. Julie Robinson said on May 16, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Oh Connie, I’m envious! I have to wait until it’s out on video or Hulu or wherever before I get to watch it.

    Most dancers don’t have boobs for a couple of reasons. First, once you start to get them, you self-select out of dance into other areas. They get bounced around too much and throw off your center of gravity. Second, dancers’ body mass tends to be so lean that boobs and periods don’t exist. Third, many (most?) of the movie boobs are fake.

    My son asked me to make one the pieces he was in public, so while I’m sharing, y’all get it too. It’s the Leonard Cohen Broken Hallelujah, and Matt is the first person singing. https://youtu.be/r6P8OqlM6b0

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  23. Connie said on May 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    It applies to all the actresses in general, not just the dancers.

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  24. Scout said on May 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Julie @ 22 – WOW!!! That was really beautiful. Your son is very talented, and the whole ensemble is simply lovely. Thank you for sharing. I needed that.

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  25. john not mccain said on May 16, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I’m liking Fosse/Verdon so much I downloaded the book it’s based on for my Kindle and bought a hard cover version, too. Michelle Williams’ performance is astonishing. Exactly the right mixture of insecurity and ambition. I’ve only seen her in that movie with the dog and thought she was very good, but this is a whole other level. I’ll be watching All That Jazz as soon as this is over. Need more dancing! And why can’t my body move like that?

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  26. Icarus said on May 16, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    looks like Missouri has joined the ranks of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, et al with restrictive abortion laws.

    The Autonomy Rights Movement better get mobilized soon.

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  27. Connie said on May 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    And the Michigan legislature is trying but our new (female) Democratic governor has made it clear she will veto any and all such bills. Which leads to Right to Life putting together a ballot petition for signatures on a voter approved measure.

    john not mccain, I remember going to All That Jazz at the theater years ago (a newlywed). As we left we saw my parents standing in line and suggested they might not enjoy its weirdness.

    As for me, I have checked out the DVD for Damn Yankees.

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  28. john not mccain said on May 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I looked into the Damn Yankees dvd but the cheapest I could find was $100. I settled on Cocoon for a Verdon fix but I bet she’s not in it that much. It’s a damn shame she didn’t do more movies. Ann Reinking, too.

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  29. nancy said on May 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    In re: boobs on dancers, anyone here see “A Chorus Line?” There’s a number in there called, I believe, “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three,” but everyone remembers it as “Tits and Ass.” It’s supposedly the story of Sandahl Bergman, who was one of Fosse’s favorites. She had it all, except for the T&A, which she corrected with surgery. And it worked — got her noticed at auditions, got her parts, etc. If you watch the “Take Off With Us” number from “All That Jazz,” in which she’s the central dancer, you can see the results, which are plainly fake, but hey — it worked for her.

    For the record, I firmly believe that if I had been gifted with Bergman’s abs and legs, I would probably be khaleesi to the world by now.

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  30. Connie said on May 16, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I got the Damn Yankee DVD from another library in our coop. Of the 50 libraries in our coop 4 had it.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on May 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    You’re welcome, Scout. A little mama pride.

    “Did the nose with ’em, all that goes with ’em!” I could sing that song and every other one on the A Chorus Line soundtrack. Marvelous show that didn’t translate well to the screen.

    I own it anyway, along with all the others mentioned above.

    I’m glad to hear Michelle Williams is shining after being underwhelmed by her in Greatest Showman.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Julie, that was very nice: thank him for letting you share it.

    Some of us have children who insist we share nothing they do on social media!

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  33. Julie Robinson said on May 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Well, he did ask. And here’s a snippet of Sarah singing Mamma Mia. I didn’t have a great angle so it’s hard to see her sparkly rainbow boots.

    Best of all, when it was over the lady next to me said “I know her, she’s the pastor in my neighborhood “! https://youtu.be/ysy-Xt307Xk

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  34. Deborah said on May 16, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Julie, you have every right to be a proud mama. The Hallelujah piece was Lovely and the Mama Mia piece was lively, both just as they should be. Fun.

    We are back in Santa Fe for the night after the usual 3 days in Abiquiu. Yesterday we took a hike to a tiny adobe chapel one of our neighbors built for his mother. It’s exactly 2 miles east of our cabin. It’s a good hike up and down, in and out of arroyos. I was a little disappointed in the chapel, we hiked out there about 2 years ago when it was under construction and suprisingly it’s still not finished and it’s gotten kind of junky around it like they use it for parties. I took some photos and will put them on FB if anyone is interested. The chapel is about 10′ x 20′. On the hike back it started to cloud up and thunder but we made it back before it rained too hard, it felt good to get sprinkled on because it was hot going uphill the last part.

    I also took some photos of my copper cookware installed in the cabin, I love the way it looks there and it works great, I’ll put those of FB too.

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  35. basset said on May 16, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    We try to grow at least a little of what we eat, first plate of the season was today… pasta with pesto made from our front-porch basil. And the tomatoes are starting to fruit.

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  36. Deborah said on May 16, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Wow Basset, already? In Santa Fe it’s going to get down to 34°. We’re probably going to have to bring our potted plants in.

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  37. Deborah said on May 17, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I should have said said it’s going to get down to 34° Monday night/early Tuesday morning.

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  38. basset said on May 17, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Mid-forties overnight here in Nashville earlier this week, been awhile since we had a frost though. Trying to find a house with, among other things, some garden space, but it’s not going well – anything we like usually has several offers by the time we hear about it.

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  39. Deborah said on May 17, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Totally off subject, this is a hilarious twitter thread especially the comments https://mobile.twitter.com/HelloCullen/status/1128146572477231104 I laughed out loud many times while reading the comments about weird names and practices families give food in the privacy of their homes, after awakening in the wee hours this morning, waking my sleeping husand.

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  40. Suzanne said on May 17, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Deborah, that Twitter post is amazing. Families are…interesting. It brought to mind a friend of mine who told me that after they were married, she discovered that her mother-in-Law had always washed her son’s hair. Her son who was in his mid-30s when he married my friend. She discovered this when he asked her to wash his hair. She said no quite firmly.

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  41. Sherri said on May 17, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    The most interesting take on Game of Thrones and it’s problems I’ve read: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-real-reason-fans-hate-the-last-season-of-game-of-thrones/

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  42. Dexter Friend said on May 17, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Alex, I remember Click and Clack The Tappet Bros. telling a caller that any new car (this must have been back around 2000) was by far safer than any car from the 50s and 60s except any Volvo ever made. I enjoyed your positive remark about Ralph Nader as well. Now I wish I could find more positive remarks about #berniesanders2020 . Bernie stresses points across the board that I agree with. I realize most contributors to nn.c hate him and blame him for HRC’s loss in 2016. This season it appears the Democratic field of presidential candidates may top out at near 30 candidates. Bernie still is the best of the bunch. We love Mayor Pete, but I gotsta be in Bernie’s camp. ~ David Maraniss has a new book out, “A Good American Family”, detailing what his family had to deal with when the HUAC came after Dad, a former Communist, who had protested government actions , dealing with the depression of the nation in the 1930s. In WWII Mr. Maraniss commanded an all-Black unit into combat overseas…his earlier association with the CP way in his past, traded in for his role of patriot in the war, and a spokesman for equal treatment of minorities in uniform and for integration of the military. I’ll get the book when it’s discounted and in paperback. Maraniss is a great author, as I keep buying his books.

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  43. Deborah said on May 17, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Dexter, if Bernie is the nominee I will certainly vote for him even though he’s not my first choice by a long shot. I just hope Bernie supporters do the same. If their first choice, Bernie, isn’t selected I hope they vote for the one who is. As we know last time many sat out the election which was devastating to the country.

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  44. alex said on May 17, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Dex, I could be happy with Bernie or any of the thirty Democratic alternatives, but realistically he’s probably too old and too white male. I’ll get behind him if he’s the eventual nominee, but I think it’s going to take a woman or minority or both to gain the necessary turnout. Just my two cents.

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  45. David C. said on May 18, 2019 at 8:28 am

    I think Bernie did just fine in the 2016 general. He knew tRump would be a disaster and said quite plainly to his supporters to vote for Hillary. So I don’t hate him and blame him for Hillary losing. The Democratic Party is a party of people of color and women. I don’t see that he has what it takes to unite all of our constituencies. I also think he’d do pretty badly in a general election. Spending your honeymoon in the Soviet Union is probably the second dumbest honeymoon decision ever. First was my wife and I spending ours in Chicago, in January. That would make “but her e-mails” seem like a walk in the park. So I don’t hate him, but I think there are better choices and if he gets the nomination, I’ll vote for him. There’s no question about that.

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  46. Sherri said on May 18, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Dexter, what does Bernie bring to the table that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t, with more detail about how to implement it?

    No to the B’s: Bernie, Biden, Beto, Buttigieg. Bernie is at least radical enough, but he’s not a Democrat. It’s not that I’m a party above all else person, but it’s demonstrative of his unwillingness to work in coalition to get shit done. It’s all about him.

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  47. LAMary said on May 18, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    JodiP, The local podcast, LAist, is covering the infant mortality rate here in LA county. It’s three to one on the bad side for Black and Latino babies.

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  48. LAMary said on May 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    The idiot in the Ohio legislature who has some wild hair up his ass about reimplanting ectopic embryos so they can attach to the uterine wall and be carried full term is countering critics saying such a procedure is possible. I know one woman who nearly died from an ectopic pregnancy. This misogynist moron has no clue what he’s talking about.

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  49. ROGirl said on May 18, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I would have a real hard time going for either of the old white males in the race.

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  50. LAMary said on May 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    The white males in the race are getting a shitload more media coverage than the women.

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  51. susan said on May 18, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    LAMary @48 – Did you see Samantha Bee’s Sex-Ed for Senators?

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  52. LAMary said on May 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I have now, Susan. Thanks.
    I was listening to a story on NPR the other day. It was about women in Nepal forced to live outdoors in a hut while menstruating because men believed their presence in the house would attract tigers that kill livestock. Women often die of dehydration or infections or from fumes from the charcoal heaters they bring into the hut to keep warm. This is all the same story, really. We should just produce children to keep the species going. Just shut up and do it.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on May 19, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Sherri, one of my favorite speakers, Fran Lebowitz, came out for Warren , on Maher’s cable show. She’s against Bernie because he’s too old and against Biden because of the Anita Hill treatment in the Thomas confirmation process. She vehemently said she will always hate him for that. Warren took that Nation dna test and created that mess for herself, not good when the millionaires are cheating with bribes to pay off university coaches and admins. Different issues, but people are sick of false claims across the board. Kamala Harris, I thought I could go for her campaign, then I discovered she was a Cal law and order District Attorney of San Francisco and Atty. Gen. of California, and from indications she was a harsh advocate of hard time sentences, out of form, harsher than needed be, to the extreme. Then she goes on a radio show or podcast and cackles about her pot usage, and emphasized how “and I inhaled!” , while her record shows she recommended and advocated punitive sentences for convicted drug people, like I say, way too harsh. So she’s a phony. Another thing Harris said a while back , when asked, was that she believes in withdrawal from The Region , of USA troops. Then, yeah right…”in a responsible way”. Which is code for leaving thousands of troops there and continue to support that goddam ridiculous US Embassy in Baghdad. So, I think Bernie is more electable, that’s all. That does not mean I have heard things Warren has said that I object too. She would command attention in the debates. If that fucking Trump hovered over Warren behind her lectern, well, that would escalate into a real shit show, and I wanna see it.

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2019 at 6:58 am

    The problem in sorting them out, Dexter, is that we’re all phonies. Not they’re all phonies (which they are) but we are, too. We look for candidates with a degree of perfection that doesn’t exist, and resist dealing with them in political context, which led a lot of people to fail to vote for Hillary when, in context, she was the clear and unambiguous choice at that time.

    Saying that, I should be able to tell you whom I’ll vote for, but that is a calculation I don’t have clarity on yet. Too much silt in the water overall as everyone wades in. But the idea that some, most, any of them are phonies due to overall inconsistencies: I don’t think the candidate will arise without them, unless they have so little record and history as to be concerning on that basis alone. But I could vote for inexperience over incumbency this time around much more easily than I might have in the past.

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  55. David C. said on May 19, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Mitch Albom chimes in on Game of Thrones because of course he does. If you think he writes about it the same as any of his columns about baseball, hockey, football, or probably even fucking golf, you’re right. Very Mitch.


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  56. alex said on May 19, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Had a day without the internet yesterday (forgot to pay my bill) and it was the most productive day ever! Dragged a scaffold around and painted two whole sides of my house. Today I’m hell bent on completing another side before the predicted rain starts this afternoon. And I did it all with a mini roller.

    No mosquitoes yet. No tree sap all over everything yet. Perfect time to git ‘er done.

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  57. Dan said on May 19, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I would like to get this “speaker of the Florida House” in the Tahadi Ring.

    For non-intellectuals, this is a fight to death with knives! Preferrable with kris knives.

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  58. ROGirl said on May 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    David C, I was going to post about the Mitch column, but decided it was too nice a day to spoil it for anyone who hadn’t read it.

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  59. Brian stouder said on May 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Well done, Alex! All I can claim to have accomplished this weekend was planting one flat of flowers (selected by Pammy, of course!)

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  60. diane said on May 19, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I will ultimately vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is but I really hope it is not Biden. That would be a really hard vote for me to cast. I too cannot forgive him for the Anita Hill hearings. My current choice is Elizabeth Warren but I admit I am not up on the entire crop of current candidates. I have never understood what the Harris fuss is about. I thought she looked like an idiot in the Kavanaugh hearings, pretending that she had some smoking gun when she was empty-handed. Was she really dumb enough to think an elementary trick like that would work?

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  61. Suzanne said on May 19, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    This is a very interesting interview (which, alas! Leads to yet another book I’d Like to read)


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  62. Charlotte said on May 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    No apologies necessary Nance — most current “nature” writing bores me to tears too — “I saw a THING and felt a THING … ” ugh. But I have to admit, as much as she’s sometimes bugged the living daylights out of me, Pam’s gotten better and better the past few years.

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  63. Deborah said on May 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Well is everyone happy with the end of GoT? I watched it tonight but since I haven’t watched much of it through the years I have no opinion.

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  64. basset said on May 19, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Weekend? Stayed two nights in a state park cabin on the edge of the mountains, walked the trails, shot my first roll of Tri-X in over forty years.

    Productive? Hung two hummingbird feeders when we got home this afternoon, that makes four on the front porch, and filled em up. Never turned the tv on.

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  65. Dexter Friend said on May 20, 2019 at 3:26 am

    Deborah, I watched the first 4 seasons and then just got tired of it, then this season I decided to jump back in, but I am no expert so I don’t have an opinion either. It was pretty damn extra-violent this season, as usual, but had me glued to the tube. I am glad it’s over so the chatter will cease by Tuesday. I watched “What’s My Name”, a sort of taped autobiographical story of Muhammad Ali’s life. I am not sure it’s a resurrected old show or new, as I had seen much of the footage somewhere, sometime. Back in 1960 when Cassius Clay was on TV on my grandma’s favorite sports programming, “The Gillette Friday Night Fights”, I remember seeing Clay fighting on that show, and I also remember seeing film from Rome when he won the Olympics. I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali straight across the years . I remember sitting in the basement at home with a radio when Ali fought in Lewiston, Maine against Sonny Liston and beat him. This show is in 2 parts , by the way.

    JMMO: The US voters did a good job in sorting out the wheat from the chaff in 2016, clearly, overwhelmingly giving HRC the public vote by a wide margin. I don’t believe many voters could not vote for her because of the way the state department generally botched up the regime change when Gaddafi was dragged through the steets having broom sticks rammed inside him, nor because she was a hawk for Bush’s awful war in the region, which she did a mea culpa over during the campaign, no… but her ardent supporters say she could have won the electoral college had she run a better campaign. I cannot remember those details, but the TV people, and I mean the left-leaning supporters of her, say her poor campaign decisions cost her the election. The crimes committed , especially all the obstruction of justice crimes going on almost daily by the whole gang of Trump, is staggering and terrible…so bad that finally Pelosi is making whispers of impeachment. Have you noticed a slow shift , now even from a republican, towards impeachment? I have. And I believe Fox News should take more flak for all the lies they telecast every day. Distortions every segment, lies every hour. I never ever watch them, but on msnbc last night msnbc showed lie after lie that Fox News put out there.

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  66. Suzanne said on May 20, 2019 at 8:09 am

    No GOT for me. Anybody watch Les Mis on Masterpiece Theatre? Overall good, but the end went flat, which bothered me. Les Mis productions (musical excepted) never seem to get Valjean and his utter devotion to Cosette which drives all his actions.

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  67. Deborah said on May 20, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Suzanne, I happened upon Anand Giridharadas a few months ago on Twitter, since then I have read much of his writing online and watched videos of him being interviewed or giving speeches. I think he’s terrific, very articulate and makes so much sense. I’ve yet to read his latest book, “Winners Take All”, it’s definitely on my list.

    It looks like we are going to the south of France in July, tickets have been arranged and everything. We fly into de Gaulle in Paris, take a train to Avignon, rent a car there and drive to le Thor, where Uncle J always stays at a place called La Bastide Rose, we’re there for a week. We then reverse that travel configuration and spend 5 days in Paris before flying back to Chicago. Whew.

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  68. JodiP said on May 20, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Alex, I’m impressed you got so much painting done!

    Our weekend weather-wise was pretty awful. Highs of mid-40s and rain all day Sunday. Well, the house is really clean. Today, of course, the sun is shining and the high is going to be about 60. I bought half dozen plants on Saturday, but couldn’t bear to be outside when we’d had 3 days of gorgeous weather Wednesday through Friday.

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  69. Jakash said on May 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm


    Nobody seems to respond to your Les Mis comments, but we started watching it through the streaming app, a couple weeks late. We literally started watching Episode 4 last night ten minutes before they moved that one from the regular app to the “Passport” version that requires an extra donation. (Since we started it, we were able to finish, but the little “Passport” icon showed up as soon as I looked back at the app afterward.) So, we haven’t gotten to the finale yet, and your remark doesn’t make it sound too enticing… But we’ve enjoyed it well enough, so far. I’m always happy when Dominic West shows up in something we’ve decided to watch. We missed episode 3 because we neglected to watch it during the time-window that it was available. D’oh! It really annoys me that they can’t leave 6 episodes available for free at least while the freaking series is still being broadcast. But they’re happy to send you to Amazon Prime to pay for the episodes or their app there. Double D’oh!!

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  70. Sherri said on May 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    I watched GoT, and felt what I’ve felt all season, which is meh. I’ve ceased to care about the characters, because they’ve acted in such weird ways this season. So, I feel nothing. After all the buildup of the Night King and the stupidity of everybody in battle, only to resolve it with the big Arya ex machina, I was just watching to see how it ended.

    I think it should have ended with the bankers from the Iron Bank showing up to repossess the Seven Kingdoms…

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  71. Julie Robinson said on May 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    We watched the first two episodes of Les Mis but hadn’t watched the third yet when they took if off free. We kinda had to work ourselves up to watching it; I’m mean it is very depressing. (D’oh!, right?) I guess I like it interspersed with music better–call me shallow if you wish.

    Our son shared his HBO subscription and I really enjoyed going back and watching Veep in its entirety. GOT is more violent than I can take.

    I’ve been playing catch up ever since I got back from Orlando, though I did take my mom to a brass band concert over the weekend. Now my aunt and uncle are coming for a visit. This is the super right wing guy who I can barely stand to be around. Luckily it is only for one day and I will have all my diversionary tactics in force.

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  72. Bitter Scribe said on May 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t have any specific thoughts about GoT because I’ve seen it only once, in a hotel room. But has there ever, in the entire history of television, been a final episode of a beloved and long-running program that left everyone feeling satisfied?

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  73. LAMary said on May 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Suzanne, On Being is great. I’ve heard so many interesting interviews done by Krista Tippet. I know atheists, nuns, and clergy who listen.

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  74. LAMary said on May 20, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Reeeeaaaly off topic. Does anyone here have the NNC legendary recipe for pork stew with prunes?

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  75. 4dbirds said on May 20, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Bitter Scribe @72. Six Feet Under?

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  76. Bitter Scribe said on May 20, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    4dbirds: If you say so. I wouldn’t know, because I stopped watching 6FU after they made that one female character into a sex addict.

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  77. Icarus said on May 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    LAMary: you can find the link here http://nancynall.com/2011/12/12/a-few-kitchen-notes/

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  78. Suzanne said on May 20, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    The French Pork Stew. So good!

    I don’t mean to imply that Les Mis wasn’t overall good. The barricade scene was gut wrenching as you watched the revolutionaries come to the realization that the masses were not going to join them as they assumed and that the bullets and cannon balls and bayonets and blood were very, very real. But, like so many other productions, the end seemed to discount how far Jean Valjean would go to keep his sordid past from impacting his beloved Cosette’s future in society.

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  79. LAMary said on May 20, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you both for the recipe. It is so good and I had lost my copy in a tragic dying motherboard incident.

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  80. LAMary said on May 20, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Let’s all contemplate the greatness of Robert Smith who just pledged to pay the student debt of the entire class of 2019 of Morehouse College. A real billionaire, people. Not a sleazy guy with a bullshit foundation.

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  81. ROGirl said on May 20, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    GOT was… meh, feh, oy. I nodded off in spots. There was Denarys with a knife in her chest. There was Bran narrowing his eyes and spouting zen koans. I thought of the final episode of the Sopranos. Fade to black.

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  82. Dexter Friend said on May 21, 2019 at 1:29 am

    LAMary…do you mean Robert F. Smith’s money was not laundered by Deutsche Bank, like the Trump Kushner conglomerations’ money was and is?

    I was watching Joy in the Morning (Sunday, msnbc) when the guest who was speaking was texted and he revealed Mr. Smith’s incredible gift. All we have to do to make this happen all across and up and down the USA is simple: #berniesanders2020


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