Drain the swamp.

I’ve started and stopped this blog about 90 times since Tuesday. I started out inflamed about the MIT Media Lab thing about Jeffrey Epstein’s enablers, and hence the headline. Then 9/11 popped up, and I went down another dead end. In that spirit, I’m keeping the headline and much of the 9/11 chatter, and we’ll just get to the Publish button one way or another.

I’ve been thinking about 9/11 today, as probably most of you have, too, at least in passing. One thing I hear in the conversational buzz in both the digital and analog world is this: Remember how united we were, afterward? It’d be great if we could get back to that.

See, I don’t remember that.

Oh, there was unity of a sort. We all agreed what had happened was terrible. We all agreed something had to be done. We agreed in a rather vague, amorphous sense, that we were still The Best Country in the World, and Nothing Could Change That.

But I don’t remember any particular unity beyond that. Here are a few things I do remember:

Conservative Republicans pressing their advantage almost immediately. Disagreement with the president was frowned upon. We had to be united! Division is what the enemy wants! So we had to bow and scrape to every pronouncement – that we would “answer this” with fire and fury, etc. That GWB was the man to handle it; OMG can you imagine Al Gore? We needed this tough-talking Texan. And so on.

Even without social media, we endured the stupidest prole-level static imaginable. God, talk radio was insufferable. We didn’t have Facebook, but we had email, and memes. “If you have to fly, carry a small baggie of ham chunks, to throw at the hijackers.” “Did you hear that they found a full-size SUV under the towers with six uninjured firefighters in it? SUVs rule!!!” Here’s this thing Leonard Pitts wrote. Here’s this thing Christopher Hitchens wrote. Here’s something even stupider than the last thing I sent.

I don’t excuse myself from any of this; I was there, I was as crazy as everyone else. But lordy, I don’t look back on those days of grief and pain and fear as something I’d like to get back. Yea, Republicans and Democrats sang “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps. But about five minutes after that happened, the American flag started to be worn as a political statement and sartorial wish to turn Afghanistan into a sea of glass, not as an expression of patriotism. Who knew an Old Navy T-shirt could be so unnerving?

Anthrax. Also, anthrax. Yeah, that was no fun, either. That sense that what happened with the planes was only Act I, and soon we could look forward to car bombs and amorphous poisons sent through the mail — that was real unnerving. It didn’t help that there kept being more stupid stories in the media; even the lifestyle writers were pressed into service to ask whether high-end cookware might sell more now, because we were all eating in instead of going out. There was a piece on giving “comfort” gifts at the holidays. There was one on workout routines, for fuck’s sake; more women were taking up swimming, so if they needed to evacuate Manhattan in a big ol’ hurry, they could get to New Jersey or Brooklyn in the water. (As a recent open-water swimmer, I have some news for those gals: No, you can’t. Unless you can steal a boat.)

So no, I don’t have any particular nostalgia for 9/12, for the rise of horrible people like Pamela Geller and Instapundit and all of those. I did read this piece on Wednesday, though, which read in part:

The best of us rushed into burning towers in September or descended upon Afghanistan in October. The rest of us watched in stupefaction or satisfaction, or perhaps both. That goes even for direct witnesses of the great massacre, including me. We spectated. It was not two years later that the phrase emerged, not from Afghanistan but Iraq, that in the post-9/11 era only the American military was at war: the American people were at the mall.

It irritated me, only because it underlined something I’ve always despised, this idea that only first responders and soldiers can be “the best of us,” because man, have you been paying attention to what some cops have been up to lately? Did you hear about Abu Ghraib? But it wasn’t a terrible piece, and I read it, and thought, OK, now I have read that.

Today I surfed past the Indiana Policy Review site, to see if it’s still got my old colleague Leo writing his airy, dismissive, who-really-gives-a-shit columns (yes), and found this, by an Evansville attorney named Joshua Claybourn. Note that I’m posting it from one of the Indiana newspapers that accepts syndicated columns from the IPR:

The best of us rushed into burning towers in September or descended upon Afghanistan in October. The rest of us watched in stupefaction or satisfaction, or perhaps both. That goes even for direct witnesses of the great massacre, including me. We spectated. It was not two years later that the phrase emerged, not from Afghanistan but Iraq, that in the post-9/11 era only the American military was at war: the American people were at the mall.

And yes, for a minute I thought, wearily, JFC, another one? But I’m not entirely sure what happened here. Because besides Claire Berlinski’s blog and the IPR site, it also appeared on another site, Israel National News, also with an anonymous byline. Which doesn’t really suggest someone stole it, because it appeared more or less simultaneously at all three sites.

So is Josh Claybourn Claire Berlinski’s anonymous friend and the Israel National News site’s anonymous contributor? Or is some other funny business going on?

I DM’d Claybourn on Twitter. He is indeed Claire’s correspondent. And what are the odds that I, of all people, saw both pieces in the course of two days? I’m probably the only one. What a distinction. Why can’t this happen for the Powerball?

OK, so that’s it. I’m still gathering my thoughts on Epstein’s enablers, and maybe that’ll gel over the weekend. For now, I’m done, and you all have a great weekend. I’m getting my hair cut.

Posted at 7:30 pm in Current events, Media, Uncategorized |

51 responses to “Drain the swamp.”

  1. David C. said on September 12, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I remember everybody doing their patriotic duty and queuing up for gas. Nothing says America like fretting about gas and wasting your fucking time in a goddamned line to top up your three-quarters full tank because it might cost you a couple of extra dollars tomorrow.

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  2. Sherri said on September 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    I have many thoughts about MIT, the Media Lab, tech, science, and academia and the relationship between being complicit with Epstein and the level of misogyny, but my thoughts aren’t really coherent yet. I’m willing to bet, though, that whatever MIT did, Harvard did an order of magnitude worse.

    Basset, from the last thread, I don’t know very much about Strongman/Strongwoman competition, other than I know someone who competes. The reactions the woman describes are pretty typical. I don’t have any context for her performance, and I don’t know if those contests are drug-tested, but her numbers seem like I would expect for a high end competitor.

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  3. alex said on September 12, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Watched the debate and wondering why Biden and Bernie are in the lead in polling when they both came across as not only as senescent but phony, Biden for jumping around to family anecdotes that had nothing to do with the matters at hand, and Bernie, for making pie-in-the-sky promises that I’m sure just ain’t happening.

    Generally impressive responses from all of them overall. Wondering why Cory Booker isn’t generating more interest.

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  4. alex said on September 12, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Just actually read Nancy’s post after quickly jotting down my first impressions of the debate, and I’m like …

    This isn’t getting more attention than the fucking Tim Goeglein affair? The Indiana Policy Review plagiarizing dreck (or having its dreck plagiarized)? What the fuck is up with that?

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    • nancy said on September 13, 2019 at 3:28 am

      No one plagiarized anything. He wrote the piece.

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  5. LAMary said on September 13, 2019 at 12:03 am

    I’m out of words for the Epstein MIT thing. It’s disgusting and hideous and enraging. I heard a woman, the one who resigned at least in part because of Epstein, say that when he left with his girls she would check the wastebaskets to see if the girls left notes asking for help.

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  6. Sherri said on September 13, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Way back when, in the dark ages when I was a grad student in CS, the women at MIT produced a report about the problems for women at MIT. At least, I told myself back then, we’re putting up with this shit so things will be better for the next generations.

    Not so much.


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  7. Dexter Friend said on September 13, 2019 at 1:15 am

    You may recall I worked in a factory, many years on a forklift buzzing around all over and around a huge factory floor, talking to many people every day or night, and most all were ready…I remember one guy had a shirt made that threatened: “Watch out motherfuckers! We’re comin'”, with bombs and flags emblazoned on the fabric. I also remember Hondas and Toyotas on roadways with Old Glory secured to the cars, a-blowin’ in the wind. I remember stories out of big city outlets in which Sikhs were getting the shit beaten out of them , as they were mistaken for Muslims, and by goddam if they weren’t Muslims why are they wearing Muslim shit anyway?—see, ya don’t have to be from a small town in the sticks to be a real dumb fuck. ~ So I watched the debate, and that fucking Julian Castro can go fuck himself, that prick. What a prick! He cooked his goose last night, he’s toast. He had no business being on stage…what a disgrace he is…if you watched, you know what I mean. Bernie is my man, and his explanation of his socialism and what it means was, for me, the best part of the night. But Joe is the man, Warren is the superstar candidate, and Mayor Pete and Beto both were excellent. Chris Matthews said Amy Klobuchar was strong, but I didn’t see it the way he did. I think Centrists are full of shit, though, there’s that… Now a sad note: yesterday young Daniel Johnston died of a bad kidney infection. If you don’t know of him, that’s OK. He was a songwriter, and recorded his tunes, singing along to a cheap child’s piano. He had a large dedicated following. I adored his art. His lyrics blew me away, still do. He was like 57 or so years old. He suffered from many maladies, and had many periods of flaring mental health issues. Now he’s gone, as is another of that ilk, Roky Erickson. Yep, the pendulum swings…two close buddies from my work days kicked the bucket on successive days. That’s life…and on we go…oh…for any Iggy Pop fans remaining here, he has a new album drop, simply titled “Free”. It’s already up on Spotify…hints of the style of the spoken word albums of Bill Burroughs, this is Iggy’s best effort in a while. Damn good shit.

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  8. beb said on September 13, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Wasn’t one of the first thing the Republicans did after 9-11 was to pass Bush’s tax cut?

    scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money writes to suggest that what we’re seeing in North Carolina with the gerrymandering, election fraud and now lying about state government activities on 9-11 is just a foretaste of what the national party will become as they lose their base and local control.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 13, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Les Wexner went to his L Brands shareholder meeting this past week and tried to tell them this Epstein fellow from New York took advantage of a nice but credulous old man, namely himself. Whom he met when Les was 49 and cut off when Les was 71 (he’s 82 today). The deafening silence, punctuated by occasional very carefully worded asides, in central Ohio media around the Epstein case and his very close relation with Wexner is morbidly fascinating. Money talks, mostly in profanity.

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  10. 4dbirds said on September 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I’m with you Nancy. I don’t remember feeling very united after 9/11. I didn’t watch the debates. Isn’t that awful? I don’t care I’m voting for the democrat no matter what.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on September 13, 2019 at 10:28 am

    What I remember is how the world united behind our country. Of course, we managed to kill that goodwill quickly, but for one brief shining moment they liked us, they really liked us.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on September 13, 2019 at 10:28 am

    What I remember about the post 9/11 actions was the quick pivot by the W. administration to Iraq and how Karl Rove and others shamelessly called out those who didn’t see the sense in girding to invade a country with NO FUCKING TIES to the attacks for lacking patriotism. Even Hillary Clinton was buffaloed into voting yes, which gave Barack Obama a very handy tool when they ran against each other. I also recall some dweeb in the administration –maybe Andrew Card?– talking about the timing of any invasion. He said you “couldn’t roll out product” or something akin to that at a certain time of year. And then that kabuki theater of W. landing on an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego to declare “Mission Accomplished!” Clearly, that was going to be W.’s campaign commercial until it became apparent the mission wasn’t accomplished and thousands more Americans and hundreds of thousands more Iraqis would have to die. I remember chickenhawk music performers like Toby Keith and Charlie Daniels releasing hideous war celebrating anthems. And I remember that preening piece of shit Andrew Sullivan declaring his belief that those of us who thought invading Iraq was stupid might well become “fifth columnists.” I continue to hate that asshole with heat of a thousand suns.

    There was no unity. We were railroaded into the worst foreign policy actions in modern times by misplaced patriotism and bloodlust orchestrated by an administration made up entirely of chickenhawks (with the exception of Colin Powell, who forfeited any respect for selling this bullshit to the U.N.) It was a shameful time in our history.

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  13. Deborah said on September 13, 2019 at 10:34 am

    I only watched about a half hour of the debates, and not from the beginning, I started about a half hour in already. They kept calling on Biden and Booker most of that time. Warren got to speak only once during that time, Buttigieg maybe twice, O’Rourke got a few shots and Harris too. Castro was belligerent in the few times I observed him. I don’t remember the others. I wasn’t hearing anything I hadn’t already heard them say before, mostly. I love that Beto says outright that he wants to take the ARs away, and he got a lot of love from the other candidates. I hope we don’t end up with Biden but I’ll vote for him anyway, I just worry that we’ll lose the now excited progressives if he’s the chosen one and then Trump wins. So far I’m for Warren or O’Rourke, but that could change. I’m moving away from Harris but again, I’ll vote for the Democrat, period.

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  14. Joe Kobiela said on September 13, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Could you explain to me just how your going to take away people’s ar’s? I thought I read that there were over 1,000,000. Knock on their door? Hello we’re the gun police here to take your legally bought weapon away. Maybe they should try that in Chicago first and see how it goes. There needs to be some changes made but confiscation isn’t a working answer.
    Pilot Joe

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  15. Deborah said on September 13, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Joe, it’s not impossible, has been done other places. But as I understand it, the first step is buy-back and banning of new sales. I’m sure there will be non-compliance by some but eventually they will be either gone or greatly reduced. It won’t happen overnight and no doubt there will be deaths until they’re gone, sad to say. We have to start somewhere.

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  16. Deborah said on September 13, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Also, Joe it will be pretty hard to hide their use, they’re so obvious and noisy. We have a neighbor in NM who takes his out for target practice in the National Forest that our property backs up to. You can hear it for miles.

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  17. Suzanne said on September 13, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Wasn’t able to watch the debate but I will vote for whichever Dem is the nominee. If it’s a pumpkin, I will vote for that.

    I have to admit that on Wednesday, I felt Anniversary fatigue. The 9/11 attack was horrid but look how many people have been gunned down in Texas, Nevada, Texas again, Florida, and on and on and the same people who are still ready to bomb the Middle East off the face of the earth because a bunch of guys from our ally, Saudi’s Arabia, killed people in NYC, don’t care. They don’t care at all. I have become so cynical. Innocent dead are only important if they are in the womb or killed by someone from another country or with a skin color other than white.

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  18. Dave said on September 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Was it Jeff Borden who said a few weeks back that he’d vote for a pile of mulch if it’s the Democratic candidate? Me, too. Sorry, Jeff, if I got that wrong.

    Beto’s comments already have gotten attention in Texas, at least from this clown: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/09/briscoe-cain-beto-orourke/

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  19. Sherri said on September 13, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    No, I won’t vote for Biden.

    Biden is the nice guy version of the very same racism and misogyny as trump. He won’t be cruel about it, and he doesn’t believe he’s either racist or misogynist, but every single time he will choose to side with white men over women and people of color.


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  20. Jeff Borden said on September 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Sherri, If Biden is the nominee, which I doubt, I’ll vote for him. You need to as well. It’s very likely RBG will eventually go on to her eternal reward or retire. Do you want the Federalist Society to put another far right justice on the court? Can you even imagine the horrors of the Orange King when he can claim his reelection was a ringing endorsement of his calamitous rule? The damage wrought by this hideous man and his sycophants in the GOP will take forever to undo as it is. Give him and those fascists another four years? Please.

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  21. Jakash said on September 13, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    That *is* pretty appalling, Sherri. The smirk even before he answered was practically a deal-breaker, in itself. How is it possible, in 2019, after all we’ve seen in this country, that this twice-failed pres. candidate, an old white guy flailing away about record players in a country (and party) that has long since moved past the attitude he embodies, is the “front-runner?” I know it won’t happen, for many reasons, but I really think Obama oughtta step up and do what he can to stop this, because he’s as responsible for it as anybody. “Hey, folks — look! — when I picked this old, mainstream white guy to balance my ticket in 2008, it was to try to appease all the racist motherfuckers who’d be calling me a fist-bumping Muslim until Hell froze over and to try to placate those who thought I was an empty suit. It wasn’t so that, over a decade later, you boobs would make him your candidate. Uh, don’t know if you remember, but the whole theme of my campaign was about *change*, so let’s get on with that, whaddya say? K — good talk.”

    To be clear, I’d vote for him as a last resort. Perhaps that’s inconsistent. But the house is in fucking flames right now; I wouldn’t shop for a better fire department if a lesser one was the one that showed up and could put out the fire.

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  22. Heather said on September 13, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I’d vote for Biden if I had to, but honestly I don’t know if he could win. Trump would make mincemeat out of him at a debate, and it would be hard to get people fired up. Not the biggest fan of Bernie either but I’d be way more enthusiastic about him, especially with the right running mate.

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  23. Scout said on September 13, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Brisco Cain (that name!) has already deleted the death threat tweet but still persists by calling Beto a child. Apparently he has been widely reported to Twitter, The Texas Bar Association and the FBI. Typical radio silence from Republicans who are truly successful at wagon circling.

    I’m not voting for Joe Biden either. In the primaries, that is. In the general I’m voting blue no matter who. Hell, I’d vote for the shriveled turnip hiding at the back of my produce drawer over Shitler. Between the climate mess, the immigration mess, babies crying in cages, the Supreme Court, the tariffs, the gun mess, the health care mess, the election laws, Russia, porn stars, the fucking LIGHT BULBS for fuxake, ANYBODY, even crusty ass old Joe Biden, will help to restore sanity. Not that any election is a purity election, but this one? Lordy.

    Right now I am favoring Warren at the top of the ticket with either Kamala, Pete or Beto as VP, still young and ready to take over in 4 or 8 years. All of the Dems are great compared to the putrid fucked up hairball currently squatting in our White House. I do not include Bernie in this, he isn’t a Dem. However, would still choose him over the mango mess.

    What he said: https://twitter.com/andylassner/status/1172310809906565123

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  24. Deborah said on September 13, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    If Biden is the candidate, my hope is that he relinquishes his second term, but not say that up front. He needs a woman VP, and then give her as much of the spotlight during his one term as possible, so she can be elected in 2024. But I doubt that Biden would actually do that because of his ego. This old white guy crap has got to end, and not just for presidents.

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  25. Sherri said on September 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    My point is, Biden is not a lesser fire department. He will not put out the fire. He will keep the embers burning.

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  26. Sherri said on September 13, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Besides, why does it bother all of you so much when I say that? The Electoral College ensures that my vote is meaningless.

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  27. Sherri said on September 13, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    In the wake of Biden’s racism on the debate stage, Rebecca Traister on covering racism and sexism in the media (written before the debate):


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  28. Deborah said on September 13, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I’m probably the last one to know about this: hysterical, laugh out loud on Twitter, Giant Military Cats https://mobile.twitter.com/GiantCat9

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  29. Jakash said on September 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    25. Yeah, Sherri, I know that’s what you think. We disagree in that I think dealing with the embers would be preferable to enabling the fire to rage unabated for another 4 years.

    26. It bothers us because you’re smart, informed, involved and on the right side of any issue I can think of. If *you* think this, it indicates that there are probably many others whose effect on the Electoral College might be more problematic than yours who do, too. Are you implying that if you lived in Ohio, and it came right down to it, you’d vote for Biden?

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  30. Snarkworth said on September 13, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Scout @23, there is a perfectly good turnip available should you need one:


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  31. beb said on September 13, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Joe asked how we ban ownership of AR-15/AK-47 weapons. Will the police go door-to-door? Facetiously, why not, ICE pretty much does that already when it comes to brown people.
    But seriously we can start by banning sales of semi-automatic long guns as well as ban the sale of ammunition to fit such guns. Then back it up with stiff penalties for the possession of such weapons without a special government permit (which, I believe, is how fully automatic machine guns are currently handled. Ban (with stiff penalties) carrying banned semi-automatic long guns in public. And of course police buy-backs — with the provision that the guns be destroyed and not resold. It’s not impossible to remove the most dangerous guns from the public. The key will be distinguish between “assault rifles” and everything else. That’s why I say we ban all semi-automatic long guns. Bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action guns would be fine .

    The Constitution is not supposed to be a suicide pact. And we may have to impeach supreme court justices until we get a court that agrees with that.

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  32. alex said on September 13, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Not gonna get into this dustup again. Everyone know my feelings as regards perfectionism being the enemy of the good.

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  33. Heather said on September 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    The Epstein/MIT thing just gets more and more gross.

    “Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the ‘most plausible scenario’ is that Epstein’s underage victims were ‘entirely willing’ while being trafficked.” https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9ke3ke/famed-computer-scientist-richard-stallman-described-epstein-victims-as-entirely-willing

    Bet there are a lot of other men at esteemed institutions that took his money and made the same excuses.

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  34. basset said on September 13, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Didn’t watch the debates, I was a poll worker for our local election… after which Nashville’s combined city/county council is now half female and has its first Muslim member.

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  35. Bitter Scribe said on September 13, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    What I hate most about the reaction to 9-11 is how it legitimized the worst president America had ever had, until the next Republican came along. Bush the Dumber reacted in the most boneheaded way possible, plunging us into wars from which we still haven’t managed to extricate ourselves.

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  36. Scout said on September 13, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Wonkette eviscerates good old boy Briscoe. https://www.wonkette.com/meet-briscoe-cain-hes-the-texas-rep-idiot-who-threatened-beto-last-night-ooh-what-a-big-man

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  37. Suzanne said on September 13, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    In my mind, not voting for the Dem nominee is a vote for Trump. My husband voted for Gary Johnson in the last election like all those other people who could have made a difference if they had voted for Hillary instead. I still hold it against him.
    I firmly believe that this election will be the last chance for the country. If Trump is re-elected, that’s it. There will be a Trump In the White House until I die. That’s why I will vote for the Dem candidate no matter who it is.

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  38. LAMary said on September 13, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Julie, I was moved to tears when Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Guard played The Star Spangled Banner the day after 9/11 outside Buckingham Palace.

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  39. diane said on September 14, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I have reluctantly decided that I will vote for Biden if he is the nominee. Anybody else on that stage, no problem. Since Ralph Nader and Gore, I’ve ranted about the idiocy and danger of voting 3rd party and called it selfish and this election is the first time I have understood the feeling. Biden is not the solution, he is certainly not a sign of progress and it makes me feel the Democrats are idiots if that is the best we can do. But the danger of climate change is real and the entire planet cannot survive the effects of another Trump term. It will be really hard and depressing if I have to vote for Biden though.

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  40. alex said on September 14, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Gorgeous weekend here! Gonna make tomato sauce from scratch using my garden harvest. And I’m getting a new shitter courtesy of my hard-working husband, an elongated one to fit my fat ass, and it’s a one-piece so no cooties lurking in crevices anymore.

    Looking for ideas how we might prank somebody with the old one. These days with those Ring doorbells you can’t just do a ding-dong ditch.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on September 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Mary, a friend was in Ireland on 9/11 and had to stay longer than planned because the planes weren’t flying. She said she’d never experienced such kindness, toward herself and the USA. And within a year W had squandered it all.

    Yesterday I took my mom to Salomon Farm, which for non-locals is being restored to be as a farm would have been in the 30’s and 40’s. In other words, the years of her childhood. We’ve been there a few times before–they have chickens, which is good for at least half an hour of entertainment for her.

    But they opened the farmhouse for the first time, and walking through elicited so many great stories from her. They also had some old equipment there, and as a tractor fired up she said, oh they’ve got a John Deere here. She recognized its engine noise from a divide of some 60+ years! Apparently her dad disliked them and wouldn’t have one on his farm because they used diesel.

    It was a good day for nostalgia.

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  42. Suzanne said on September 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    If you have access to Twitte, this is an insightful thread about Joe Biden
    “There are at least two traditions of racism in American life — the flagrant and the insidious.
    Racism with a hood, and racism with a smile.
    Racism that bombs churches, and racism that asks to touch your hair.
    The racism of David Duke, and the racism of Thanksgiving Uncle.”

    “No sensible person thinks Joe Biden is a racist in the flagrant tradition.
    But he is steeped and anchored in, and unable to educate himself out of, racism in the insidious tradition.”

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  43. Deborah said on September 14, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Suzanne, I was just coming to nn.c to post that same link. I think Anand Giridharadas is great, he hits the nail on the head and he’s extremely articulate. I’m reading his book Winners Take All, which is basically about Plutocrats buying their reputations back etc through philanthropy, exactly what Epstein tried to do at MIT and Harvard. Also what makes billionaires think they have the answers to all society’s ills. Obviously they don’t.

    Giridharadas gets it so right about flagrant and insidious racism. So many people think they’re not racist because they don’t recognize in themselves the insidious kind. I consider myself a recovering racist, because there are things I say and do that I’m not aware of how racist those subtle behaviours are. I cringe when I realize how I must have come off to some of my African American and Hispanic friends.

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  44. David C. said on September 14, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    At one time, I could (sort of) excuse racism in old people. But it was people my grandfather’s age who was born in 1894. Old people ten years older than I am? Nah. I figured it out, they could have too. I’d vote for old uncle Joe if I had to because no matter how bad he is, he isn’t going to do all the shit that crazy mofo Donald is doing. I wouldn’t like it but the lesser of two evils is less evil.

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  45. Deborah said on September 14, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    We saw the Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was good but could have been 25% shorter. Quite a twist at the end.

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  46. Sherri said on September 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    The lesser of two evils is less evil, but there is a limit. Where do you draw the line? Is Mitch McConnell less evil than trump? I don’t think so. How about Pence? Maybe, but still a hard no for me.

    But rather than go person by person through every politician around, I decided that racism and misogyny were my line. With Biden, it’s not just about what he’s saying today in debates, it’s about what he’s done throughout his career. Every time he’s had the opportunity to stand up against racism and misogyny and challenge the status quo, he’s chosen the status quo. From school integration to Clarence Thomas to bankruptcy to the crime bill, Biden has been on the wrong side.

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  47. David C. said on September 15, 2019 at 7:11 am

    It’s not going to be Biden anyway. He’s already fading and he’s running a name recognition campaign. Iowa is all about organization and as I understand his is pretty weak. Senator-Professor Warren is organizing the hell out of it. Anything but a decisive win for Biden will be seen as a loss and I don’t see him even winning it. So once that’s over, so is he.

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  48. Sherri said on September 15, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I like Warren, of course, because I see a lot of myself in her. If she gets the nomination, though, I’d like to see Harris or Castro or Booker as her VP, not Mayor Pete. The election is going to be about turnout, not about convincing Never Trumpers and erstwhile Trumpers to vote Dem. We need to turn out young people and people of color, the heart of the Dem coalition. We need to give them a reason to show up beyond just ousting trump, because what we really need in order to create change is to flip the Senate. If we get control of Congress, then we can get rid of the filibuster and make real progress on gun control and voting rights and climate change.

    Otherwise, a Dem President’s agenda will go nowhere. McConnell will block everything, and this SCOTUS will suddenly decide that the executive branch shouldn’t be deferred to as much, so any hope you have of doing things by executive order without Congress is foolish.

    Turnout, not persuasion. The media may be obsessed with the trump voter in the diner, but that’s not who we want this election to be about.

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  49. Deborah said on September 15, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Yes, I agree, turnout, turnout, turnout. But if you heard what Joy Reid said yesterday about black women being overwhelmingly for Biden, it makes you wonder. This link is for the whole show yesterday but Girahdaradis comes on at about 02:40 where they discuss Biden’s insidious racist comments during the debate. https://www.msnbc.com/am-joy/watch/biden-s-controversial-debate-response-on-legacy-of-slavery-68955205566?cid=sm_npd_ms_tw_jy if you watch that whole segment you will hear what Joy said about why black voters are for Biden.

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  50. Jakash said on September 15, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    “Imagine if Trump punched a farmer in the face;

    …Then punched the farmer’s friends & family;

    …Then kept punching them all for 27 months;

    …Then stopped;

    …Then told farmers to vote for him because he brought an end to all the punching.

    It’s like that, but with tariffs.”


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