Long weekend.

Ah, a long weekend to start the season that’s always too short. Fitting.

So far it’s been pretty great. I haven’t done much — errands, shopping, a Movement party, “Booksmart” and still a fair amount of time to relax and finally make some progress in “Streets of Laredo,” which is my bedside read, put aside time and again for other stuff. To be sure, it’s only taken Larry McMurtry 225 pages to really get the plot moving, but it’s moving for sure now, and I’m less inclined to put it down after a page or two because my eyelids are so, so heavy.

In a while, I’m going to do some food prep and then a bike ride. Reading for pleasure is deeply calming, and I need to do more of it. Reason No. 2 billion to despise the commander-in-chief.

By the way, it’s Memorial Day — has he pardoned any war criminals yet?

And yes, Memorial Day. That’s also a good reason to stay off social media. Never mind the confusion with Veterans Day (M-Day is for the dead, V-Day for the still-standing), it’s the memes — those thanking the ones who died “so we could be free.” By my reckoning, WWII was the last war fought for our freedom. I guess “our” could encompass a lot more than Americans, however, so OK, I’m not going to quibble. And I guess the dead are still dead. But holidays are funny; what’s supposed to be solemn is more often a good day to go water skiing, but then again, what is freedom for, if not for choosing to go water skiing?

Actually, the reading-for-pleasure part of the weekend has convinced me that I simply HAVE to put up better barriers in my personal time. It’s a mental-health thing. Every time I open my eyes and see something like this?

One of the best-known but least visible former members of President Trump’s White House staff is facing an existential question: whether to comply with a congressional subpoena in the coming weeks.

My head threatens to explode.

The person in question is Hope Hicks. I did not know that complying with a subpoena was a choice, let alone an existential one. There are legal strategies to fight a subpoena, to be sure, but the question of compliance isn’t an existential question. And the picture! Oh my god. As someone on Twitter remarked, she’s a former assistant to the president, not a moody singer/songwriter with an album called “My Truth” dropping on Tuesday.

Of course, what this tells us is, Hope Hicks has been a very good source for Maggie Haberman, and a soft kiss on the cheek like this — known as a “beat sweetener” — is delivered in the hopes she will remain so. But now we have the New York Times noting casually that compliance with a subpoena is a fucking existential question, and so our democracy degrades just a little bit more.

I can already feel my shoulders tightening. Need to not let that happen anymore. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I should be on my bike. Think that’s what I’ll do.

Posted at 11:09 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

74 responses to “Long weekend.”

  1. LAMary said on May 27, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Those are some serious false eyelashes Hope Hicks is sporting. I seldom get so made up for existential decisions.

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  2. David C. said on May 27, 2019 at 11:50 am

    One thing I didn’t learn until the Hope Hicks article is that Maggie Haberman’s mother is the PR flack for Kushner Companies. I know sins of the father and all that shit but you have to wonder.

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  3. Deborah said on May 27, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    I’m back in Santa Fe after 3 days solo in Abiquiu, my husband is still out of town. It turned out to be a little boring and I felt like I was in solitary confinement. It was super, super windy so outside time was limited. I finished reading the Nelson Algren biography while there, ready to start the next book.

    My husband comes back on the 1st which also his birthday.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on May 27, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Nelson Algren is a time-travelling trip to read. His books take you back to gritty Chicago where to deal with harsh life then, you sat on a barstool and shot a couple jiggers of Old Forester Bourbon, bottled in bond, of course. That must have been Nelson’s brand, he mentions it in print at times. Nelson’s been gone for ages, and even Studs Terkel has been gone nearly 11 years now. My book, Jane Leavy’s “The Big Fella”, a thorough bio of Babe Ruth, is taking me forever to finish, because I want to read a few pages and let it sink in, there is so much to process. But, I shall go online and buy a Nelson Algren book next…it’s been 33 years since I visited his works. ~ A contemporary in age passed away today, Bill Buckner , a first baseman with LA Dodgers, Cubs, and Boston, where one play he failed to make ended up being 90% of his obituary, that being a ground ball in the 1986 World Series which got under his glove at first base. I saw him play a few times at Wrigley Field and a couple other ballparks. He suffered from Lewy Dementia. He was 69. I am 57 days older than he was. R.I.P.

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  5. Deborah said on May 27, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Dexter, you might like this new Algren bio, I read about it in a recent New Yorker. I had read a bio of Algren years ago, this new one gets into lots more info about how the House UnAmerican Activities organization interfered with his life and ruined his reputation. I read Algren’s work years ago, I’m going to reread those. The Man With the Golden Arm movie starring Sinatra was awful, but the book was good. The bio talks a lot about how Hollywood took huge advantage of Algren making that movie and Walk on the Wild Side too.

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  6. LAMary said on May 27, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I know Nelson Algren moved to my old town, Paterson, NJ in the seventies. Roger Ebert wrote a little about that, but the video on Ebert’s site wasn’t working when I tried to watch the Studs Terkel interview with Algren asking why he moved to Paterson. If anyone else can see it please tell me why. Paterson was pretty nasty in those days.

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  7. Deborah said on May 27, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    LA Mary, there’s a whole section in this bio about Algren’s time in Paterson. He moved there to write about Hurricane Carter. He wrote a whole book about it and then at the end Carter was found guilty of murder a second time after he was given the opportunity of a new trial. Algren ended up being appalled at how racist Paterson was and had to move to Hackensack because his landlady didn’t like that he supported Carter. It’s really interesting. Most of his life Algren lived in Chicago but he got fed up with it toward the end of his life and moved to the east coast.

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  8. LAMary said on May 27, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Deborah, that sounds about right. Paterson had some very nasty cops.

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  9. beb said on May 27, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I came across a weird piece of FanFiction posing as an column about Hope Hicks existential dilemma. It was a strange surreal piece. I agree with Nancy that a subpoena from Congress is an optional matter. I think that the Sergeant-of-arms needs to start going around arrest no-shows to remind that the Law applies to everyone.

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  10. Dexter Friend said on May 28, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Well gee, as Dylan taught us, “In Paterson everything’s legal….as long as you don’t get caught.” Thanks for the tip, Deborah. Here’s a tidbit: my old army pal in rural Connecticut bought Kerouac’s “On the Road” 45 years ago but never got round to reading it, then last week he tackled it. He emailed me to say he bailed out and stopped reading it and put it back on the shelf because he didn’t like character Dean Moriarty. I told him to read “The Dharma Bums” if he still was interested in Beat lit. Nope, not interested. I then suggested Kerouac’s masterpiece, “Maggie Cassidy”. I say masterpiece because I love that book, an autobio of sorts of Jack’s high school age life in Lowell in 1938. So he searched the Connecticut library database to discover that that book is still in the system, two books in the entire state. Whoa. I realize Kerouac, now dead 50 years, is no longer en vogue and probably hasn’t been for many,many years. Maggie Cassidy is still just about the best book I ever read.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on May 28, 2019 at 9:49 am

    We were too busy to even look at the news, and this was a good thing. My aunt and uncle visited Friday, Saturday we finally got the garden in, then Sunday our daughter called to ask if some friends could spend the night last night. They are from the Orlando Fringe Fest and on their way back home to Canada and of course they have no money and thankyouthankyouthankyou for supporting the arts. What are you going to say?

    She herself stayed at some 700 homes during her two years on the road, so we will be paying it back for a long time. They were lovely, and we discussed the state of the arts, and it was a nice break.

    Deborah, did you say that you read The Overstory? When it won the Pulitzer I put it in my library queue, since the author grew up one town over from me. Unfortunately the print is tiny and I’m getting major eyestrain, so I may not get too far.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on May 28, 2019 at 11:47 am

    By my reckoning, WWII was the last war fought for our freedom.

    So much this. And let’s not forget that before Pearl Harbor, there were a lot of lumps insisting that we didn’t need to get involved, how could we even think of fighting on the same side as Stalin, the Jews of Europe weren’t our problem, etc. If the Nazis and Japanese imperialists had been just a little shrewder, they would have played to the lumps and kept the U.S. out of the war until it was too late.

    Let’s also not forget that said lumps were the political forebears of all the idiots who are screwing up our foreign policy, along with the rest of our politics, to this day.

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  13. Deborah said on May 28, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I’m crabby because I’ve had one of those days where I spent way to much money on a project that wasn’t planned, it was a spur of the moment decision and poorly thought through at that. I hate it when that happens.

    Yesterday we were driving somewhere and saw this cute little rustic handmade table on the side of the road for the taking. It needed a different top and we had some leftover talavera tiles from another project. I had this harebrained idea that we could get a piece of plywood cut to the right size at the hardware store (2’ x 3’). The piece of plywood was 2’ x 4’ so easy peasy right? Then we realized we need some edging around it, so more cutting, nails for holding the edging, some grout etc for the tiles etc etc, before I knew it I’d racked up $100 for this table top. The table is going outside for plant potting on. And now we have all the work to do putting it together. Argh!

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  14. David C. said on May 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    That sounds like every project I’ve done since we bought a house, Deborah. I feel as if I’ve missed something if I haven’t gone to the hardware store three times.

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  15. Deborah said on May 28, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    My rant about our project was full of misspellings, I hate it when I do that.

    We mitered the corners of the edging for the tabletop we’re making and I forgot to measure twice and cut once so the corners don’t meet but we’re going to fill them in with wood putty and keep telling ourselves that it’s supposed to be rustic. Doing this with a bad attitude doesn’t help.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on May 28, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Deborah, this may not be much consolation, but just remember: There are those of us whose hands are good for nothing but writing out a check for a ready-to-use table.

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  17. Deborah said on May 28, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    I usually love projects but this one was so serendipitous and so unplanned that I’m feeling so negative about it now. I’m mad at myself for being pulled into it because the table frame was provided on the side of the road for free. Even though it was cute it was unnecessary and in the end way to expensive for it’s worth.

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  18. basset said on May 28, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Anyone have any experience with those internet-sale boxed mattresses, Casper and so forth? They seem to be about half the price of the ones at the mattress store.

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  19. LAMary said on May 28, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    I frequently use the word “rustic” to manage expectations of my baking experiments.

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  20. alex said on May 29, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Basset, we were so impressed with our first Lull mattress that we bought a second one. Beats the hell out of mattress shopping and it’s fun to unpack — the thing just self-inflates.

    We find ours very comfortable and they strike a good balance between softness and firmness. I think our first one is two or three years old now and still like new. They’re much more comfy than the mattresses they replaced and I’m so used to it that I can’t get a good night’s sleep on anything else.

    I’m one happy customer who’s probably never going to shop at a mattress store again.

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  21. basset said on May 29, 2019 at 7:46 am

    We hadn’t been mattress shopping since 2010, when our house got flooded and we replaced pretty much everything. Sticker shock to say the least. We don’t like the memory foam so much, feels like it’s resisting motion, but maybe one with some other kind of foam on top is out there.

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  22. Deborah said on May 29, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I don’t like foam mattresses at all, they’re hot and way too soft. In Abiquiu we have Shikibutons which are stuffed with organic cotton that we roll out on the wood slatted floor of the sleeping loft. They have to be hung outside periodically to fluff them up, they’re super comfortable to me. In Chicago we have a European mattress that came with our bed made by Ligna Rose, a French company, it’s one of those low platform kind. I sleep better in Abiquiu and Chicago. Our bed and mattress in Santa Fe came from IKEA and is so so. I usually find hotel mattresses to be too soft and uncomfortable. There’s a mattress ad that drives me crazy, shows a young woman lounging on her bed saying “I’m all about my bed”. She has the worst vocal fry I’ve ever heard. It makes me want throw something at the TV.

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  23. JodiP said on May 29, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Racism alive and well in America. White KOA campground manager pulls gun on a black couple just looking for a place to fish/picnic/hang out.

    Deborah, I know your project was super irritating to you, and hopefully with time and distance you see it as funny story. Cuz that’s what it is.

    Last week, a friend was coming over for dinner, and of course that was the day the animals decided to excrete stuff in several places that required immediate clean-up. I was so pissed! But my friend texted me she’d be 10 minutes late because *her* dog had eaten a shoelace, and she needed to deal. We had a great laugh about it when she did show up.

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  24. Suzanne said on May 29, 2019 at 9:38 am

    My daughter has a mattress she ordered from Amazon but she can’t remember what kind. I’ve slept on it and it is heavenly! Came in a box and she had to let it sit for a couple of days to open up fully, which was interesting since she lives in a small apartment.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on May 29, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Bassett — One of my best friends with back issues bought one of those expensive SleepNumber beds. She said it quickly started losing air and getting it returned was a nightmare. Another acquaintance tried My Pillow and was dissatisfied and tried to return it. Another nightmare experience. I hear the Casper bed advertised frequently on Chicago radio and perhaps they are the exception that proves the rule. Personally, I prefer trying them out. BTW, what is the general lifespan of a mattress and box springs? Anyone know?

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  26. FDChief said on May 29, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Well…at least the sonofabitch didn’t pardon Ed Gallagher. So there’s that.

    I ended up at Poplar Grove cemetery, outside the Civil War siege lines around Petersburg, VA. Very pretty and manicured, bright with tiny flags, peaceful in the orderly way the military cemeteries are peaceful.

    Until you look around and realize how many places aren’t marked with the GI issue headstones (name, rank, state) but simple blocks with only a number. And realize that under them are the remnants of a dead man without even a name. Someone whose body lacked any identity, who had no tag or scrap of paper with a name on it. Who was just a rag of blue cloth and some bone that had been a son or brother or husband or father and was now a number and had been for more than a century.

    Even more heartbreaking were the ranks of U.S. Colored Troops, even in death set apart from their white Army brothers, forever separated, forever segregated.

    Taken altogether a day that raised more spectres than it laid.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2019 at 10:37 am

    New Randy Rainbow video for anyone who would like to Just Impeach Him: https://youtu.be/7mZYd3DrX-c.

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  28. Icarus said on May 29, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Mitch moves the goal posts once again


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  29. FDChief said on May 29, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I’d say, instead, that Yertle’s goals remain where they have always been; power for radical plutocratic reactionaries. He has always worked to ensure the full flowering of a new Gilded Age, whether denying Garland or confirming whatever neofeudalist the Federalist Society recommends to Trump.

    Just your daily reminder that you can be a good American or a good Republican…but not both. GOP delenda est.

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  30. Deborah said on May 29, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Have we all read his words or watched Mueller today, give his comments about his investigation? Thoughts? I think it was clear, but he went out of his way to express himself carefully, so as not to sound political.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on May 29, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Jerry Nadler is the thorn in Trump’s side that is going to fester and get Trump thrown out of D.C. forever. Wishful thinking? Who knows?–but I love listening to Nadler. Today, Nadler tore into Trump and Trump’s Russian deep, deep connections. Nadler called Trump a liar who lies continually, over and over , when Trump bellows out about no collusion, no obstruction of justice, when that is exactly what Trump is clearly, emphasizing “clearly”, guilty of. Do not be surprised if in the near future the DOJ will indeed be allowed to indict a president. The USA can not have another Trump-like bastard in office.

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  32. Sherri said on May 29, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Shouldn’t be too hard to guess which candidate I’m working for…


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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    A mattress and box springs wears out, Jeff? Ours are twenty years old and have the twin ruts to prove it.

    My hearing (listened on car radio, didn’t see any of it) of Mueller is that he’s thinking there’s an ethical issue involved in saying “he met the criminal standard for charging with obstruction, but could not be charged.” It sure sounded like he wanted to say it, and meant for people to pick up that interpretation, but for whatever reason believed he could not flat out say it. Likewise saying “so it’s up to Congress to begin impeachment hearings.” If there’s a former prosecutor out there in the readership, I’m curious about how the ethics of such a statement work — and will ask one I know privately and see if s/he will offer me an explanation of what a prosecutor can and can’t do.

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  34. Deborah said on May 29, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Fort Wayners, I just saw on All In with Chris Hayes that there will be a town Hall there with Elizabeth Warren, I think they said it was going to be next Wednesday but I could be wrong about the date. Wow, I would try to go to that if I lived there.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on May 29, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    There will never, ever be a tinier person in the White House. Never. Check out this note from the WSJ D.C. bureau reporter. Our poor Orange King cannot even bear to see the name, John McCain.


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  36. Suzanne said on May 29, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) that’s pretty much my take on the Mueller statement. I am disappointed he wasn’t more blunt because I think he needed to be. It’s not because I dislike Trump, because I detest him & he makes me sick, but because if, in this case, Congress won’t act, there is no rule of law. The President, whoever he or she is, will be above the law.

    And I also think it’s idiotic that a sitting president can’t be indicted. Trump was correct about it: he could actually shoot someone on 5th Avenue and from what has been shown here recently, he could not be arrested for murder.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Deborah, I checked on her website, and it’s in Elkhart, about 90 minutes away from Fort Wayne but only 30 from South Bend. So Buttigeig territory.

    My uncle died, one of the two I used to argue politics with. He had dementia, and at 89 had lost both his wife and his independence, so it’s a mercy. Still, I’m sad for his sons.

    From what I understood, Mueller said he couldn’t say Trump was indictable because of decisions made by Justice Dept, but he also clearly didn’t say he was innocent. He bounced it back to Congress. We’re screwed. Again.

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  38. Deborah said on May 29, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    So our tabletop project has turned into something really cool. It looks so good that we’re now figuring out how to keep it inside in the kitchen instead of outside as a garden potting table. It’s hard to explain but the rustic frame that we got off of the side of the road will still be outside with a rustic top for potting on with that free frame but much simpler and cheaper, while this new tiled table top will become a top for a small kitchen island on a metro shelving type base on casters because it really looks fantastic and will add to storage space underneath. So lemons became lemonade and I feel so much better.

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  39. beb said on May 29, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    We’ve had rain on 22 days during the first 29 days this month. I’m starting to mildew.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on May 30, 2019 at 7:30 am

    It’s been like that here too, beb. Miserable for us and threatening farmers’ growing season.

    Local media are now saying Elizabeth Warren will be here next Wednesday although it sounds like they’re still working on a venue. I stand corrected.

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  41. alex said on May 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

    It’s twoo, it’s twoo… (doing my best Lili von Schtupp):


    Deborah, I think you were being too hard on yourself when at first your project didn’t go right. My partner and I are both enthusiastic DIY hackers and it’s how we spend our quality time. In general, I design and he executes, and it’s a creative process that sometimes involves a lot of trial and error. We could never hire a contractor to remodel our house because there’s no one willing to experiment with things the way we do, who would have the same sensibilities about our living space that we do, and sometimes the best things come about totally by accident. The disappointments are just part of the process and get you to think outside the box, which is where you need to be to do your best work.

    I wish I could be retired so I could do this all the time.

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  42. basset said on May 30, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I’m retired and I just don’t want to deal with it. Been looking for a retirement house for months now, anything even remotely interesting usually has several offers before we even hear about it so we thought we might try building one… sat down with the contractor yesterday and right off he said it was gonna cost more than the original estimate, “I must have been in a really good mood when I quoted that”…
    That’s probably how it goes in that business, can’t say we’re surprised.

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  43. Deborah said on May 30, 2019 at 8:37 am

    This is an interesting Twitter thread by Ed Burmila (Gin and Tacos) about how polling is getting less and less effective because of bad data collected through robocalls and random phoning https://mobile.twitter.com/gin_and_tacos/status/1133456228590456834

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  44. Suzanne said on May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I saw the Wane-TV article on Facebook that Warren was coming to the Fort. Then I read the comments and became very depressed. Living in Trump country is so taxing.

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  45. Sherri said on May 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I don’t think there’s any question that robocalls produce worse polls. They’re much cheaper and produce a result, though, so they will continue to get used, because everybody hates uncertainty, and seeing even a flawed poll result gives the illusion of certainty.

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  46. Dorothy said on May 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

    I should be reconciling my office credit card account right now but I had to take a break and surf the web for a few minutes before diving into another work project. I’ve been enjoying the evolution of Deborah’s table(s) stories and all the comments! For about a month I’ve been working on these 4.5″ quilt blocks that are paper pieced. I cannot believe the time suck they are. I’ve only got 3 left to make – the pattern came with 40 different blocks. They look cool on my design wall and after all 40 are done, I’m going to revisit several of them to get more blocks to make a bigger quilt. But this sucker is going on the wall, not given away as a baby quilt or a gift to newlyweds. Too much of my sweat and time has gone into it to give it away!

    I can sheepishly admit that I did NOT go into our basement on Monday when the tornado sirens went off. Less than three miles from our house there was great damage to homes and quite a few businesses. I tried to wake Mike but he was zonked like he was dead, and so I just stayed in our room with Nestle a nervous wreck, holding her and petting her. I swear she knew how bad it was outside because she glued herself to me. She sat on my feet when I had to use the bathroom – she walked into the shower and she’s never done that before. I hugged her and assured her it would be okay. But for about 20 minutes it was very scary. Mike made me promise to push him out of bed if he ever sleeps through another tornado siren. And I sure will. Dayton news coverage has been all tornadoes all the time for several days. One person north of here died. Thank goodness it was not worse.

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  47. Sherri said on May 30, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    He’s deleted the tweet, but Nicholas Carlson, the “global editor-in-chief” at Business Insider, admitted yesterday that he only learned this week that all members of the House of Representatives were up for election every two years.

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  48. beb said on May 30, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    We now have a companion for “freedom fries”
    Freedom Gas! aka Natural gas. So the next time you fart don’t say “Excuse me” say “Freedom!”

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  49. Suzanne said on May 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    LOL beb! “Freedom!”

    Sherri, reminds me of a Twitter back & forth I had with a Trump supporter who was surprised when I told her that the House of Representatives was part of Congress. But ‘Murcia!

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  50. LAMary said on May 30, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Sherri, according to Trump, it’s a little known fact that Lincoln was a Republican. Thanks for that, prez. Reminds me a line from “Best in Show,” one of my favorite and frequently quoted movies. This line if from a sports commentator who is covering the Mayflower Dog Show in Phildelphia:

    Buck Laughlin : Doctor, question that’s always bothered me and a lot of people: Mayflower, combined with Philadelphia – a no-brainer, right? Cause this is where the Mayflower landed. Not so. It turns out Columbus actually set foot somewhere down in the West Indies. Little known fact.

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  51. alex said on May 30, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    The Republicans have to drag Lincoln out of his grave and parade him around as a marionette now that they don’t have any cool people willing to stick their necks out as surrogates for the Party of Stupid. The last time Arnold Schwarzenegger was willing to whore for them his pectorals could still be found somewhere above his waistline and he hadn’t been busted for screwing the cleaning lady.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 30, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.

    ~ Donald J. Trump

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  53. LAMary said on May 30, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I may do a needlepoint pillow cover with that sentence, Jeff TMMO.

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  54. Deborah said on May 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Have any of you folks been watching Chernobyl? Maybe you discussed this here before and I missed it? It’s excellent, LB and I started binge watching it and we’re very impressed.

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  55. brian stouder said on May 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    I love this blog; there’s such a feeling of reasonableness (even when we don’t always agree in all particulars).

    If Rachel Maddow was conducting the townhall, I’d have to really try and get there (and indeed, if I get the chance, seeing Senator Warren would be plenty interesting)

    Aside from that, my fine young son and I are off to see the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix this weekend, and in looking at the tickets, I was genuinely (and pleasantly!) surprised to learn that we’ll also get to see a concert by Stone Temple Pilots!

    Being a Pearl Jam (aka ‘grunge’) man, this was quite the pleasant bonus

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  56. Dexter Friend said on May 31, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Wow, I have been mesmerized. Did anyone catch the live telecast of the National Spelling Bee in D.C.? The judges still had plenty of words left but the pronouncer, Dr. Bailey, said there were obviously no words that could possibly challenge the 8 kids left onstage, so they decided to go up to 20 rounds, unheard of, and all left standing would be a co:champion. So then they only had 3 rounds left, 24 words. These genius children knocked those words out easily and all 8 were declared national champions. Dedication pays, these kids all got the $50,000 prize, no dividing-up like the lottery does. I skipped the NBA Finals for this, I was glued to the bee. As a kid I went to the county bee a time or two and it got in my blood.

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  57. ROGirl said on May 31, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Speaking of Lincoln…

    This won the top award at the Texas Sandfest for best sand sculpture.


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  58. David C. said on May 31, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Learning the tricks used to spell rarely used words seems, to me, to be nearly as worthless as memorizing pi to more than 3.141 (and even the last 1 is mostly pointless). It’s a lot of effort that should be going into something more productive.

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  59. Deborah said on May 31, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I found this an interesting read about changing minds http://freakonomics.com/podcast/change-your-mind/?fbclid=IwAR1aV96UqPTkTJLb9FzDW19gvd8wbfl0IkkT4YpB6jeSMaZLyim13MHswcI.You can listen to the podcast, I chose to read the transcript, but I’m going to listen to the podcast as well later today. You folks who might live with and around Trump supporters or climate change deniers (etc) might find it interesting and could give the ideas a shot when dealing with someone who thinks like that.

    Brian, Chris Hayes is moderating that Warren town hall, I like him as much as I like Rachel.

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  60. Scout said on May 31, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I’m late to the post Memorial Day party. We went to a pool party potluck on Sunday and took vegan chickpea salad, which was immediately wiped out by all the omnivores who brought meaty things we don’t eat. This is fine, I’m always happy to educate with great food. The added bonus is that Memorial Day was no doubt celebrated with resounding freedom farts by all who enjoyed the salad. God bless America.

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  61. Jakash said on May 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!

    sir I asked you to explain your conduct as attorney general”


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  62. Dexter Friend said on May 31, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    I am a retired factory worker. I made UAW wages and worked double shifts whenever possible and yet, all 3 daughters had to take out student loans. Two got very good scholarship money and still… I would say an 8th grade student competing for a $50,000 prize would be well-worth all the practice time necessary to get to the top. Running down the road might look stupid until a kid gets so good at it s/he gets a scholarship to a university. Dog eats dog in this wicked world…then one of the kids last night is interviewed and said there was no competition once the announcement was made that only 3 more rounds were to happen. “We were all pulling for each other…we all wanted each other to win.” Kids like that? 100% guaranteed success in whatever they pursue.

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  63. Deborah said on May 31, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    When, when, when is it ever enough to do something about guns in America? After another mass killing in Virginia Beach, this is absolutely unacceptable, again and again, over and over. What is wrong with people who block gun control. It’s sick and craven. Stop it. NOW.

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  64. Suzanne said on June 1, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I don’t know what is wrong with people, Deborah, but I have observed two things about the gun rights people I know.
    1. In any mass shooting situation, they always believe that if they had been there with their firearm, they would have been able to stop the shooter quickly & easily.
    2. They believe that the 12 deaths yesterday, or the 58 in Vegas, or the toddler that grabs mommy’s gun and shoots her, are quite simply the price you pay for the freedom to own a gun. That right, to them, is much, much more important than my life, or your life, or the lives of your loved ones.

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  65. Dave said on June 1, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Deborah, you and are about the same age. I’m afraid we’re never going to see that day. What Suzanne said is exactly how those people think.

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  66. Sherri said on June 1, 2019 at 10:30 am

    I think that eventually the generation that has grown up post-Columbine with lockdowns and active shooter drills in their schools will say enough. Millennials are going to change things as they discover their power.

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  67. David C. said on June 1, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I don’t see the spelling bee as any different than all the travel ball teams that young athletes are pushed into because you “have to” to get a scholarship. Maybe they should show the room where the kids go after they are bumped off. I hear it’s pretty heartbreaking. “Sorry Jaxxxon, no scholarship, it’s a welding certificate for you”. That’s a ton of pressure we’re putting on a bunch of kids. A couple of years ago a little girl fainted mid-word. It’s like it’s been turned into Spelling Idol and that’s a pretty poor way of deciding who gets to go to college.

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  68. Minnie said on June 1, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Yesterday’s massacre in Virginia Beach Municipal Center occurred three or four miles south of our house. This is where citizens and city employees interact in person. Though we usually pass through the area on the way to one or another restaurant or to visit friends, we occasionally have business there. It’s where nearly 40 years ago we obtained our marriage license, where we have voted absentee ballot, where I have attended city council meetings, where I was a trial witness in a child abuse case. Never had it crossed my mind that “The Courthouse”, as locals call the area, would become notorious for the worst mass killing in Virginia.

    Yes, Deborah. Why are citizens allowed to legally acquire multiple weapons with extended magazines and sound suppressors? These are weapons of war and crime.

    Oh, yeah. See Suzanne above.

    Along with Sherri, I can only hope that the upcoming generation will stop the madness.

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  69. Jakash said on June 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    This isn’t from the manufacturers of the infamous “Juicero,” but it seems like it could be. “The next generation of a bathroom sink,” indeed. There are so many things wrong with this idea. The tweet has 2200 “likes,” but every comment I read seemed to be a “hate.”


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  70. David C. said on June 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    It looks like a high-tech Rube Goldberg sink. I’d hate to see their ideas for toilets.

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  71. Brian stouder said on June 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Well, lemme just say – it’s been a beautiful long-weekend at Belle Isle, and the process of parking at Cobo and

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  72. Brian stouder said on June 1, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Then riding a bus to the island is flawless. Plus, the racing has been marvelous

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  73. Dexter Friend said on June 2, 2019 at 2:53 am

    My friend John lives 2 miles from that place where the Aurora, Illinois shootings occurred a little while back, he told me he drives past it frequently. Minnie’s comment reminded me of that. It was 24 years ago when a man shot our co-worker right in the second row of our parking lot at work…3 to the head. I have never been near a multiple death scene in this country, just in the war. Geez, I guess I gotta say “yet”. It is not going to stop, is it?

    That friend of mine, John, was at his alma mater Notre Dame yesterday. It was a ceremony honoring the graduates , welcoming them into the “50 Club”. He graduated in 1969, and was recruited by Dow Chemical, makers of that goddam napalm, jellied gasoline used to destroy humanity in Vietnam. He passed and worked 47 years at Standard Oil in all it’s name-changes and configurations of that era. His education paid off for him.

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  74. Minnie said on June 2, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Dexter, alas, all too many of us now live near scenes of gun mayhem. May it be that none of us are even more directly involved.

    I confess that I used to be amused by being a liberal who liked to shoot. Target shoot, that is. Firing my late mother’s pistol was a pleasure. Somewhere around the time of Sandy Hook, that lost its charm.

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