Worse than manure.

Well, that was a weekend. For once, the news was closer to home. The Michigan GOP held its biannual leadership complex on Mackinac Island. If you know about Mackinac, you know that one of its traditions — one of its laws — is that cars and motor vehicles are forbidden. Bikes and horses are the way you get around, with exceptions made only for emergency vehicles.

Until the leadership conference, and its keynote speaker, Mike Pence.

The Secret Service insisted on a motor vehicle, for security reasons, and what the Secret Service wants, the Secret Service gets. So the vice president rolled in and out of the Grand Hotel in an EIGHT-CAR motorcade.

Seen here:

I don’t really have a strong opinion once way or another. I understand the need for more than a few agents jogging along with a horse-drawn conveyance (although it was good enough for President Ford, admittedly in a simpler time), and I don’t have that long-standing connection with Mackinac that most Michiganians have. But people here went nuts over this. Even Republicans harrumphed over why this had to happen; why couldn’t he make other arrangements, or turn down the gig? Or why couldn’t the service figure another way to keep him safe. And why EIGHT vehicles?

People feel very protective of Mackinac around here. And I think it’s safe to say they don’t like this one little bit. Here’s a roundup.

Eight vehicles. For that empty suit. I ask you.

He made a joke about how Mother wants him to bring home some fudge. Ha ha ha.

Mackinac was supposedly one of the places shopped for next year’s G-7, and didn’t make the cut. Thank God, because that would have been a car shitshow.

The other big thing was this nonprofit I work with, and our second annual House to Home project, wherein we find a woman who owns a house that could use a lot of work, and then do it. (The work, that is.) This year’s was insanely ambitious, and by the end of the weekend, we were exhausted and crabby. It didn’t help that it was about 85 degrees all three days, and the house didn’t have A/C. But we got it cleaned out and painted and redecorated, and the look on her little boy’s face when he saw his new Black Panther-themed room was something to see.

But now I feel like I am running on fumes, and “Succession” starts in four minutes. Guess what I’m going to do.

Posted at 8:58 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

54 responses to “Worse than manure.”

  1. beb said on September 22, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I would be surprised if the Secret Service had anything to do whether VP Pence took a car or a horse-drawn carriage. They’ll accommodate whatever the VP wants. He wanted to arrive like a prince and not some shumck in a horse drawn carriage.

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  2. alex said on September 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I doubt Mother wants him packing fudge after keeping him away from it for the last 40 years.

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  3. Suzanne said on September 22, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    If you missed Jeff’s link at the end of the last thread, I am reposting. It’s good.

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  4. LAMary said on September 22, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    GMTA,Alex. You beat me to it.

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  5. Hank Stuever said on September 23, 2019 at 12:47 am

    A simpler time? Weren’t there two assassination attempts on Ford?

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    • nancy said on September 23, 2019 at 7:09 am

      Yes indeed, one before and one after his visit. But fwiw, we were a stronger and more confident country then, not the fearful ninnies we are today.

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  6. Suzanne said on September 23, 2019 at 8:20 am

    it seems that the good people of Michigan were not impressed with VP My Pants’ motorcade

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  7. ROGirl said on September 23, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Ford was from Michigan. He knew better.

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  8. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Suzanne and Jeff tmmo, that evangelical link was very interesting and made a lot of sense to me. Things started going down hill for me regarding the Lutherans when the charismatics (speaking in tongues etc) infiltrated in the early 70s. I was finishing up at a Lutheran college then and after I graduated I lived in Houston where my now ex then lived. That movement had taken hold in Texas more than where I had been before. I thought it was weird and tried to steer clear of it. Those people tended to be the ones who were all about God and country a few years later. It was all wrapped up in extreme emotionalism and was not my cup of tea at all.

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  9. Icarus said on September 23, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I’m sort of in Nancy’s boat about the driving a vehicle on precious Mackinac Island. It was only for a short time and the sun still came up the next day. Just another example of the tone-deafness of the current White House administration.

    But I still maintain that if you call anyone “mother,” including your own literal mother, your house should be searched for bodies and you should be sent to jail as a precaution.

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  10. Jenine said on September 23, 2019 at 11:14 am

    @Susan on the last thread: Yes! My life was also changed by learning a better way to double knot my laces from a youtube video. Here’s the one I use: easy release double knot. As I was looking for it I found out that there are other variations that I hadn’t even considered.

    I also love this gif that shows how to make a rope carry handle from a single loop: rope bucket handle.

    The wonderful world of knots and loops!

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  11. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Alex for the thread win. I’ll be chuckling about that all day.

    Calling your wife Mother is squickiness squared, but your actual mother? If that’s what she asks you to call her, like mine, then that’s what you call her.

    We caught only a few, very unfunny minutes of the Emmy’s last night. The announcer leading into commercials, the one who said Illinoise, was worst of all. The S is silent, dummy! We figured all the good stuff would be readily available online the next day, and sure enough it is.

    Best of all is this from the forever fierce Billy Porter, on the power of storytelling: “We as artists are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don’t ever stop doing that.” He said lots of other good stuff, too. His speech is worth watching.

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  12. Suzanne said on September 23, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I didn’t watch the Emmy show (no point, really, as we don’t get HBO, Hulu, or Amazon Prime so I haven’t seen most of the shows) but I heard about Alex Borstein’s speech & it was incredible.
    “My grandmother was in line to be shot into a pit,” Borstein told the audience. Because she asked a guard “what happens if I step out of line?” and he responded “I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will” — and then no one did — the actress said “I am here and my children are here.”
    “So step out of line, ladies,” she told the audience. “Step out of line!”


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  13. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I just got back from a Dr visit and was prescribed some medication for a condition that I’ve had for 5 years but never realized that something could be done about it. I have rarely been prescribed medication for anything and when I have it’s only been about $25 or so for a one time situation. So I never got the Medicare medicine supplement. Big mistake! this medicine costs $288 for a one month supply! I didn’t buy it, so when I got home I tried to enroll in the supplement, but I can’t until the next enrollment period is Oct 15 and it doesn’t kick in until Jan 1, 2020. Whoa, plus I have to pay a late enrollment penalty for not signing up when I started Medicare. This medication isn’t for something life threatening or anything like that, so I decided just to wait it out, I’ve lived with it for 5 years, what’s a few more months. I should have enrolled right away when I first enrolled in Medicare because it would have been the smart thing to do. And lordy do they make it complicated on the Medicare website. For those of you young folks, take it from me, do it up front, because you never know.

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  14. susan said on September 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Deborah – yes, and the late enrollment fee is for the rest of the time you are on Medicare, not just a one-time penalty. That was explained to me when I first signed up for Medicare, and was advised to find a Part D (drug) entity; because there would be a lifetime penalty if I didn’t choose a plan when I first enrolled. It’s all so fucking stupid. We have to get rid of the goddamned “health” insurance cartel.

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  15. Scout said on September 23, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    My strategy for surviving this administration and all its attendant nonsense is to unplug on the weekends. Monday mornings I plug back in and check Twitter and nn.c to see what I missed. The VP MyPants story today did not disappoint and Alex is the clear thread winner.

    I also went back to the last post to read all the comments I missed and saw that someone who shall not be named claimed that Donnie Demento has more death threats than any other POTUS. I thought, well maybe, because he is such a complete idiotic failure. So I went looking and I found this: https://qz.com/1578862/arrests-for-death-threats-against-us-politicians-rose-in-2018/ Like most claims made by people who only watch news from inside the bubble, this one is also distorted. Surprise, surprise.

    LAMary, that just sucks. I’m sorry you are dealing with such a disordered person/organization.

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  16. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Yes, Susan, I did know that the late enrollment penalty fee is every month forever (unless things change with Medicare of course). And get this, the reason I know this is because my husband didn’t start the medicine part when he started medicare either, and about 2 years later his Dr prescribed statins for him. When he found out how much they cost, he enrolled in the Medicare supplement and has to pay the penalty. So you’d think I would have learned my lesson from what happened to him, but no I had to be stupid even though he kept prompting me to enroll. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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  17. JodiP said on September 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    The above issues with Medicare do make me wary of “Medicare for All.” Would it be better for many people than what we’ve got now? Yes. Could it be better administered? Yes.

    In minor good news, I’ve been doing a bit of wrangling over a cc charge to a grocery store in TX. I thought I’d resolved it, but the charged showed up again last week. Today, the company admitted they’d added the charge back on by mistake. I asked them to compensate me for all the time I’d spent dealing with this, and they gave me a 1000 miles. For some reason, the investigation is ongoing, but it will close by October 26th.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Deborah, as we plan for retirement Medicare is still a head-scratch. We do know about signing up for everything at 65, but all the parts are confusing. We’ll be moving to FLorida around the same time, where do we buy the supplement policy from. Hubby turns 65 first, what do I do for the next few months. On and on. It really stinks that you have to pay a life long penalty, just because you didn’t know.

    We were reviewing our meds, and we only take a few, so we thought it was looking good. Then I remembered the eye drops for my dry eyes, and looked them up. They cost $1500 for a three month supply! Who could afford to pay that? I’ll stop taking them if that’s the freight.

    Our current medical insurance is super pricey, but I’m learning it’s good coverage. I pay $62.50 for those eye drops, and when I had physical therapy for my knee it was $25/session. I went for nine weeks, twice a week. Our daughter’s policy was $120/session, so she only went twice. She has a silver level ACA policy.

    And I guess you also have to buy a supplement for dental, or there isn’t any coverage at all? Vision, none? Hearing aids, none I know, because most of our church members need those but can’t afford them.

    We’re both trying to get all our dental work done in the next two years, like crowns and replacing old fillings. Even with coverage it’s a lot.

    Our health care system is so wrong. But you knew that.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Just saying: in this part of non-urban, not upscale Ohio, men calling their wives “Mother” is incredibly common among the 60-and-up set. I don’t do it, but I’m only 58. It’s a country thing, and I suspect Pence’s bona fides on saying it, but I bet it’s a vote-getter in lots of Indiana counties, too.

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  20. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I know someone who calls his wife “Mommy”, he’s about my age, and they don’t have any kids but they do have 2 dogs. He lived in Chicago and before that Denver, so not rural, although he was born in a small town in Texas. And coincidentally now he lives in NM, I knew him in Chicago before they moved to Santa Fe. And he calls her Mommy in public which I think is strange.

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  21. beb said on September 23, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    When our daughter was born I started calling my wife “mom” as in “do what you mom says.” When talking to someone other than our daughter I use her name. Mother seems pretentious, almost Victorian.

    Yes, Ford was from Michigan and know better but G W Bush was an a-hole from Texas and he rode a horse drawn carriage. Presidents usually have a protocol chief who tells them what is and isn’t acceptable in any place the Pres. or the VP visits. It is the particular arrogance of this White House that they don’t care.

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  22. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Julie, it is very complicated. My husband says all this convoluted stuff related to Medicare medicine coverage came out of the W Bush admin, I’m not sure how accurate that is. What we desperately have to change in this country is how much medicines cost, compared to other countries it’s exorbitant as we all know, and immoral.

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  23. Jerrie in MidMd said on September 23, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Deborah and Julie, take a look at the GoodRx website. My husband, like Deborah, didn’t take medications and didn’t sign up for Part D. He was given a one-time prescription that would have cost $250 or so and the GoodRx coupon brought the price down to $22 at CVS. He’s signed up now and pays the penalty every month. I’m in my first year of Medicare and I agree with Nancy Pelosi that we can do better.

    I’m a faithful reader but haven’t posted in so long that I forgot my screen name. You all keep me sane and Alex’s comment has kept me laughing.

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  24. Deborah said on September 23, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I just ordered Ta Nihisi Coates, The Water Dancer, comes out tomorrow, can’t wait to get it. I saw that it was named an Oprah book, otherwise I didn’t know that it was coming out this soon.

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  25. Dexter Friend said on September 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    As a Disabled Veteran, I get meds at no cost, and as an old guy I can choose between VA hospitals or since I pay the supplement, I can go wherever they’ll probably send me some time as I age out of existence. I get sick of yearly cost increases for monthly payments for the 20% that Medicare does not pay, so I asked the man at the VA if it would be wise to quit paying it. He told me it is a dice roll. Say I was in need of emergency care, no time to ask the V.A. for acceptance for Mission Act payments to a civilian hospital. The V.A. would likely deny the claim. I pay hundreds per month for the 20% supplemental policy because a payment of thousands of dollars to a hospital would bankrupt me. I have had this insurance over 5 years and never used it. My wife however has been compensated thousands of dollars for her 4 knee procedures. It’s a crap shoot… the V.A. guy told me it’s up to him, then told me of his car crash in Hawaii , and a subsequent $500,000 bill he incurred. He petitioned the V.A. over and over, kept getting denied…then one day he received a letter saying the V.A. paid the claim to that Hawaiian hospital. A dice shoot.

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  26. David C. said on September 23, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I still have three years to try and figure Medicare out for Mary, 4.5 years for me. I plan on working until I’m 70, so I don’t know if it will be better to keep us on our really terrible insurance from the company or jump to Medicare. I’ve tried looking into it, but it’s all so confusing. I don’t really know where to look for help either. It looks like most anyone who offers to help is selling Medicare Advantage plans. I guess there’s time, but it really shouldn’t be this difficult.

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  27. Sherri said on September 23, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I swear, I’m ready for socialized medicine.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    David C, as I understand it you should already have signed up and you may face the same penalty as Deborah. Note that I do not really understand it. Most of what I do understand is from a Washington Post finance writer, Michelle Singletary, who I’ve also heard on NPR. I signed up for her emails and follow a lot of the links. I also signed up for the NYT finance emails, but I’m thinking about dropping that subscription since it had a large increase.

    There is also a service called SHIP, Senior Health Insurance Information Program, which offers nonpartisan info on buying policies. I’ve thought about going there but we’ll be living in Florida, so I don’t think Indiana people can help. Or maybe they can? So much confusion.

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  29. Linda said on September 23, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I think what riled up Michiganders about the Pence visit is that it was a big f*ck you to long-standing tradition and protocol, but not a f*ck you to lefties, minorities, feminists, urbanites, and other people that Trumpites like to spit on. It was arrogance spit out on the protocols and traditions of the kind of folks who might vote for him. And it must have felt like a kick in the head.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on September 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Murdick’s Fudge is the best damn fudge in the world. Mom used to make great fudge years ago, and I suppose any place that spreads that stuff out on a marble slab can claim best in the world as well. I have been out on Shepler’s jet-boats to Mackinac Island maybe 8 or 9 times in the past 46 years; we used to rent bicycles and pedal the 8 miles around the island, then I began bringing my own Trek cross bike over on the boat. I always got a kick from visiting Mackinac Island. We even saw Gov. John and Michelle Engler hosting a party on their cottage lawn , the little triplets playing in the yard…very relaxed setting, nobody bothering anybody. Of course, “everybody” hated Engler’s policies. By gawd, old fat Engler could walk that bridge, though. He pushed that triple-stroller across with his wife by his side in a little over an hour as I recall.

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  31. susan said on September 23, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    David C @25 – I think most, or maybe all, states have some sort of advisory group for Medicare questions. Warshington State has SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors), through the office of the Insurance Commissioner. Those folks were really helpful when I was so confused about what to do, what or when to sign up. They are the ones who warned me about not signing up for Part D (drug part) or I’d be paying a lifetime penalty. B-b-b-bbuttt, I don’t take any drugs, I protested. Don’t matter. Someone from Medicare told me which company had the least expensive plan for someone in my situation.

    It is still all so stupidly complicated. And you can bet the insurance companies like it like that. Fuckers. Yes, please bring on socialized medicine. Why do we need insurance companies to take a big proportion of our monies for absolutely no benefit to anyone but themselves. Man, I hate them.

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  32. connie said on September 23, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    We recently actually went to the soc sec office recently to deal with a medicare issue. My husband was exempted from the penalty for no part b because we submitted a form from my employer saying that he had been on my work insurance during that time. He is also getting hooked up with the VA at last.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on September 24, 2019 at 1:35 am

    connie…I have been waiting in a line before when people walk in with a folder of records inquiring about V.A. benefits and were sent away for various reasons. The V.A. is mysterious. For example, a 50% disability stipend is less than 1/3 what 100% is. I was chastised for waiting so long to apply for benefits but the reason was my VFW rep told me I had no claim. I may have been eligible 10 or 15 years before I filed but then again I would have probably been denied. Good luck to your husband. I was out of active duty 44 years before I was declared a disabled veteran due to exposure to Agent Orange by a panel in Cleveland after a two day exam in Battle Creek.

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  34. David C. said on September 24, 2019 at 6:09 am

    I understand we’ll have an extra complication when we sign up for Medicare because my work insurance is a high deductible/health savings account plan. I hope by then President Professor Warren has a plan for that.

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  35. basset said on September 24, 2019 at 8:12 am

    The massively pw’d John Lennon used to refer to Yoko as “Mother,” so make what you will of that.

    Haven’t had fudge in years, I gots the sugar.

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  36. susan said on September 24, 2019 at 9:16 am


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  37. Connie said on September 24, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Dexter, he is working with a DAV rep, who has an actual office. And he is purple heart and agent orange, which supposedly gives you extra points.

    He runs in all the veteran related 5K races, and wears a shirt he had made that has on it the names of his three high school classmates that died in Vietnam. As a result he has met a lot of veterans org people like the DAV rep. Who seems to know what he is doing. So we shall see.

    Susan , I believe he means pussy whipped.

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  38. 4dbirds said on September 24, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I am in my six month window for Medicare signup but my HR rep says that as long as I am still working I don’t have to sign up for it yet. (I may anyway). Since I can carry my pretty good health insurance into retirement, I will take part A Medicare, decline part B and D since I also get VA benefits and with my regular insurance and using VA for meds I should be okay. Hubby will have to sign up for all three Medicare parts but I think we can handle that. He’s nine months younger so isn’t in his window yet. I won’t drop my Work/Retirement health benefits for any reason as my daughter is considered a disabled child (forever) and she is the major user of our health insurance. I can’t wait for socialized medicine either. I lived in Europe and used it. It is very good, didn’t have long waits and I never heard complaints about it.

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  39. Icarus said on September 24, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Since I can carry my pretty good health insurance into retirement, I will take part A Medicare, decline part B and D since I also get VA benefits and with my regular insurance and using VA for meds I should be okay.

    Funny you should mention that 4birds @ 38…last night I had dinner with a friend from my college undergrad days. She told me her company had an excellent health insurance plan you could carry into retirement as long as you were with the company for 25 years. They got rid of that three days after her 25th anniversary. You could grandfather in, but only if you were 50 at the time, and alas she was only 47 at the time.

    Also, my FIL had a similar benefit when he retired but alas the Board voted to end that to save money…I mean to put more money in their pockets.

    PS if your mother wants to be called “Mother” by all means, I was just using a little hyperbolic emphasis to make a point.

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  40. 4dbirds said on September 24, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Icarus, the elimination of retiree’s healthcare is on my mind also. If that’s happens I’m probably 100% on the VA patient load.

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  41. basset said on September 24, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Ninety-degree topic turn… anyone in or familiar with St. Louis? Going up there next month, just west of downtown, looking for an interesting place to eat. Maybe Italian?

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  42. lisa said on September 24, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Social Security will send my husband a letter and I’ll read it a half dozen times and still not understand what I read.
    I’ll call SS and I’ve always gotten a very nice person who admits few people understand the letters.
    Sometimes, the letter will say one thing at the beginning and the opposite at the end.
    Drives me crazy.

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  43. Deborah said on September 24, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Basset, you have come to the right place for info on St. Louis, I lived there for 22 years and visit friends there every year. My favorite place is a restaurant in the Central West End on Maryland, near Euclid, called Bar Italia. If the weather is good they have a great outdoor space, the inside is small but cozy. The food is very good and reasonable. They have good wine selections if you like that with dinner. The Central West End is a quaint area west of downtown (duh), lots of little shops and a fantastic bookstore called Left Bank Books. There are lots of other things to do, like Cardinals baseball games if you’re in to that. The Arch has a museum under it (underground) that’s interesting and you can ride up inside the arch to the top. Forest Park is a wonderful place to go, the art museum is there, history museum too, it’s quite beautiful, designed by Fredrick Olmstead, the same guy who designed Central Park in NYC and many other parks around the country. There’s a funky place to eat hamburgers in University City on Delmar called Blueberry Hill. Oh and the tall building downtown, sort of pinkish tan with a silver dome on top of it is the Federal Courthouse, My husband designed. He also designed the Convention Center and the Stadium connected to it.

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  44. Scout said on September 24, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Just because the lady protested didn’t mean it wasn’t going to happen.

    Also, too, Greta Thunberg is an international treasure and heroine.

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  45. Jeff Borden said on September 24, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    The monkey poo thrown around by Fucks News rarely gets to me these days. I pay the channel little attention and pity those poor saps who hang on its every lying word since they have a very tenuous grip on reality. But the assault on 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has broken through my hide. Some smirking young white boy from some site called the Daily Wire mocked her as a “mentally ill Swede” because the girl is autistic. And then the uber-Caucasian Eva Braun impersonator Laura Ingraham compared Thunberg and other young people fighting to preserve our poor planet with the murderous farm kids in the horror film, “Children of the Corn.” These people aren’t sick. They’re rotten to the core. Wish I believed in the afterlife, so these weasels might get their just rewards.

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  46. David C. said on September 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    We have an official impeachment inquiry now. It should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

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  47. Sherri said on September 24, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    basset, please reconsider your use of pussy-whipped to refer to John Lennon*. It’s ridiculously sexist, and assumes that a grown man had no agency.

    *or anyone else.

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  48. Jeff Borden said on September 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Damn. I’m saving a bottle of Oban scotch for when Dick Cheney dies, but if there are impeachment proceedings against the grotesquery in the White House, all bets are off.

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  49. susan said on September 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Jeff B – Get another bottle.

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  50. David C. said on September 24, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Jeff, get two. One for Pants and one for tRump.

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  51. icarus said on September 24, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    In a previous thread didn’t someone post about the long game strategy of waiting until November or later to start impeachment? The gist being you cannot fight two fronts effectively for long and it would impact the reelection campaign?

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  52. Suzanne said on September 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Prophetic from 2018

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  53. Suzanne said on September 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    And I will be drinking wine tonight. Saving scotch for when the deed is done and Donnie T and My Pants are history.

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