You can’t have nice things, sorry.

A momentary lull in the gentle shower that is my Thanksgiving. Alan, who has to work in a few hours, is spackling downstairs. I’ve made a sweet potato pie and make-ahead mashed potatoes for my friends’ feast in about three hours. I worked a little, now I’m writing a little.

This story caught my eye today.

Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, was spending Thanksgiving eve at the Dubliner, a popular Irish bar in Washington D.C. Pretty sure I went there with my friend Adrianne when we had a girls’ weekend in D.C. It’s where Barack Obama would be photographed drinking a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. And on Thanksgiving eve, it’s an unofficial all-class reunion for Gonzaga grads.

So there’s O’Malley, and in walks another ‘Zag, Ken Cuccinelli, current acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Then this happened – a “shame-invoking tirade” by O’Malley, aimed at Cuccinelli. The DHS secretary turned on his heel and left. O’Malley later explained:

When he saw Cuccinelli, he unloaded his frustration at the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents and detention of immigrants in chain-link enclosures at the southern U.S. border.

“We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages — certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga,” O’Malley texted.

In another text, he called Cuccinelli “the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president.”

I haven’t checked the usual suspects on Twitter yet, but I imagine the hand-wringing has started already. Where is civility, etc. When did we become so alienated from one another? And so on.

Three years ago, I might have…not agreed, but acknowledged the point. You’re not going to convert Ken Cuccinelli by yelling at him in a bar. Although I notice something, now that it’s happened a few times: The Trump people never stand their ground and argue. They do what Cuccinelli did. They run.

Don’t make too much of that. It’s easier to attack than to defend your position. And sometimes the opening salvo comes from management, like when Sarah Sanders was asked to leave that restaurant a while back. But it’s noticeable, just the same. Bars are made for arguing, and a crowded Irish pub would be an ideal place to do so with a fellow ‘Zag alum. Why didn’t he stay and defend the policy he is, after all, carrying out voluntarily?

Guys, I’m gonna go with “because it’s indefensible, and they know it.” And I’m also going to call O’Malley one of the good guys. When the history of this era is written, he’ll be able to say, “I objected to one person in a position to do something,” which is more than most of us will ever get the chance to do. Why should these people be comfortable in public, if the public despises them? If he wants a pat on the back, Cuccinelli could go to Mar-a-Lago with the boss. Make small talk with Barron in his tuxedo. Or he could go to Trump country; I’m sure they’d love him in Alabama. But if he wants to hang in his college town, with his college crowd, there will be music to face.

Terrible people who expect to be treated like decent people remind me of Kelsey Grammer. My friend Lance Mannion has written a couple times about the irony of Grammer, an actor whose entire career would be impossible, if not for the liberalism he claims to despise:

Grammer doesn’t live as if he believes in his own political views. It’s not just that he travels in circles where gay people and their spouses aren’t just tolerated but welcomed without a second thought. He clearly isn’t homophobic himself. And it doesn’t stop there.

Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher. I don’t know if he goes to church and I don’t care, but it’s pretty hard to imagine him in the front pew at St Patrick’s, although it isn’t hard to imagine him leading the choir at the nearest Baptist mega-church—but that’s Frasier I’m seeing bouncing around in a purple robe and singing it joyfully. Grammer himself? Religion doesn’t seem to be something he’s given much thought lately, an odd thing for a Republican these days.

Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.

And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?

Yes, it’s too much to ask. Lance wrote that in 2010. At the time I agreed with him 100 percent. Now I think maybe Grammer should move to Wasilla. Why should he enjoy the blandishments of Broadway, of Hollywood, of the artistic life he so enjoys, if he doesn’t recognize how they got there?

So anyway. Enough whining. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here’s an inspiring story about a double amputee making his way back from a devastating injury. It’s not depressing at all.

Let’s finish with some pictures. Food pix, but today is a food holiday, so there. First, the aforementioned pie. I wish I hadn’t tested it with the knife; if I’d trusted my gut, that surface would be perfect:

And just for the hell of it, today’s breakfast, because I’m experimenting with Portrait mode on the iPhone:

Yum yum eat ’em up. Back on the weekend.

Posted at 1:01 pm in Current events |

43 responses to “You can’t have nice things, sorry.”

  1. alex said on November 28, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Now that’s what you call a fuzzy navel.

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  2. beb said on November 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    If you need any help eating that pie, call me.

    I was just going to drop in an mention a Deadline Detroit article about Nolan Findley’s Thanksgiving column about how Thanksgiving refutes socialism. A stunningly original concept that ever othger conservative writer has spun. I would have left a comment there but it requires a facebook login and I will not sign up for Facebook. Not even for that. So the next time you’re working at work, pass along my compliments to the uncredited writer.

    Pressing of the press. Salon has been reprinting Dan Froomkin’s PressWatch articles, which have all been very good.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. And remember we owe it all the the kindness of strangers.

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  3. Dorothy said on November 28, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I took a portrait mode picture of the turkey today! Jinx! Happy gobble gobble all.

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  4. Dorothy said on November 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    So my son has a good friend who is currently deployed and is at the place where 45 surprised the troops today. Son asked him how it went; friend said they couldn’t wait until he left so they could get their wi-fi back.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2019 at 1:07 am

    basset, last night this page didn’t take comments; I answered your question finally, back one page

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  6. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2019 at 1:21 am

    I kept thinking about the Scorsese project today, “The Irishman.” How could he ever surpass “Goodfellas”? By gawd, he did it. The only thing…Nicholson made for a truer Jimmy Hoffa years ago, but Pacino was great anyway. The whole movie is great, best film I have seen in 10 or more years.~ Food: I bought raw cranberries and cooked them today. Big deal, easiest thing I ever made. Somehow, all the long past years, I just figured it was too complicated a task. I wonder why I, and everybody in my family, must have felt the same way. Hell, you just wash them off, put in a pan, add a cuppa water and a cuppa sugar and cook them.

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

    Dexter, I read “Some Call them Clowns” years ago and thought that might have been your team… there was a funny line from, think it was the owner, saying he’d driven past every tree along every highway “and pissed up against most of them.” So did any of your teammates move up from there?
    Pollock also had a team back in the Thirties called the Zulu Cannibal Giants, that’s worth a google.

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  8. basset said on November 29, 2019 at 7:51 am

    And there’s this, about baseball on the same level but a different world:

    Harry Turtledove
    The House of Daniel: A Novel of Wild Magic, the Great Depression, and Semipro Ball

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  9. nancy said on November 29, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Beb, I’ll pass that along. (It’s this, by the way.)

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  10. alex said on November 29, 2019 at 10:25 am

    So as you sit down to your table today, take a moment to thank the universe for Nolan Finley, who really should be given the carving tools today, because he can always get one more slice off a well-picked carcass, while always being your Fox News Uncle.

    I hadn’t seen the Thanksgiving-as-refutation-of-socialism shit before, probably because I don’t follow right-wing media, but evidently it’s a thing and it’s pretty fucking funny too.

    I remember a Thanksgiving spent with the family of a college friend right after Bill Clinton got elected. They were watching mail-order VHS tapes from Jerry Falwell featuring Paula Jones talking about Bill Clinton’s sex life (from the perspective of a gossipy Arkansas statehouse worker, not the inamorata she later made herself out to be under Gloria Allread’s tutelage), the Whitewater “scandal” and the hundreds of murders allegedly committed by Bill and Hill in order to cover up sexual and financial misdeeds.

    Amazing to think that in those days people were willing to pay for right-wing agitprop. Of course pornography wasn’t free back then either.

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  11. Andrea said on November 29, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I first saw these films when I was a teenager myself, and I am 52 now. I am sure I have missed a few. What a masterpiece, perhaps even despite Michael Apted.

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  12. diane said on November 29, 2019 at 11:29 am

    It was O’Malley’s high school crowd. Somehow to me (having gone to a small Catholic high school myself) that seems to make it more personal and an even stronger statement.

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  13. Heather said on November 29, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    We stopped by one of the Mies van der Rohe buildings on north Lake Shore Drive yesterday to see a friend of my cousin’s for a quick drink. (I thought of you, Deborah!) Great view. The water level of the lake is still so high, it was slopping over onto the bike and walking path again.

    I got really annoyed at Thanksgiving dinner with certain family members for reasons I won’t go into (but you can guess at the main one). Not in a great mood.

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  14. Deborah said on November 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Our thanksgiving dinner turned out to be fantastic. The toxic narcissist didn’t end up attending because my husband had sent her an email earlier in the day asking her once again not to say certain things that upset uncle J and set him back. She was royally offended (overly dramatically of course) and made some ridiculous sweeping statement in texts to all about what a victim she is and how my husband is unfairly against her and blah blah blah. Meanwhile we had a great time particularly because she wasn’t there sucking up all of the oxygen in the room, and the food was awesome.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on November 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    No politics at our family dinner, but plenty of tension anyway. One sister is royally pissed at a brother, who she’s been trying to help, one person ragged on at their spouse and child the entire time, then AFTER everyone finally got there and the food was ready, someone decided we needed wine and left for the store.

    We were supposed to be there at 12:30 and eat at 1; it was actually 2 before we started. That was the exact time I predicted to my mom when I told her to have a mid-morning snack. And on and on.

    In other words, the normal Robinson dinner theatre. But a niece we haven’t seen in two years was there, and we got to have a good discussion with her on life as a social worker in New Orleans. She specializes in support for those who are transitioning, and yes, I did spot some angel wings under her dress.

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  16. Deborah said on November 29, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Ack! It’s bad enough that our flight to France from OHare is the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, but snow is predicted for Sunday and Monday. Our flight is at 7 something Monday evening, fingers crossed.

    The food at the Thanksgiving dinner we attended for about 15 people (includes 4 little kids) was as follows: home smoked turkey and grilled tenderloin, 2 kinds of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese (mainly for the kids), stuffing, Brussel sprouts with horseradish sauce (my contribution) broccoli, salad, corn bread, pretzel salad (mainly for the kids), cheeses, crackers, 6 kinds of homemade pies including key lime, chocolate peanut butter, pecan, 2 kinds of pumpkin, apple, all with whipped cream. I’m probably leaving out other stuff. As far as food goes it was one of the best I’ve ever attended. Burp!

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  17. Deborah said on November 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    A recent poll says 53% of Republicans think Trump is a better president than Abraham Lincoln. Sorry I don’t have a link to the poll. Wow, just wow.

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  18. LAMary said on November 29, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Ohio legislature has signed a law requiring reimplantation of ectopic pregnancy fetuses now. The fact that it’s not possible doesn’t change anyone’s mind.

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  19. alex said on November 29, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Ohio’s ectopic pregnancy law is still just a bill, and most major anti-abortion groups are too sheepish to answer to the press about it because they know it’s making their movement look stupid. The six-week ban Ohio tried to pass last year spiraled down in a ball of flames and so will this one. It’s just more showboating to energize the nuttiest of the nutters.

    I bet those same 53 percent of Republicans who think Trump’s a better president than Lincoln would also back the Confederates over the Union if they were asked that question in the same poll.

    My heart goes out to Mayor Pete, who needs to tread very carefully over the question of whether he’s permitted to empathize with black people. I’m not a politician so I can speak my mind about this. In the past I’ve been told I cannot empathize with women because of my male privilege. I’ve also been told by blacks that I cannot empathize with them because of my white privilege.

    I’d like to say bullshit to both. I can empathize with whomever I damn well please and they can’t do a damned thing about it, and I hope it’s the best fucking feeling of disempowerment they ever get to wallow in.

    Members of out groups who cannot find common ground with those of other out groups are more interested in nursing their own grudges and puffing up their own defensive sense of moral superiority than in fighting for social justice. They’re like the hurt child who rebuffs others offering comfort and solace. That’s where they are in their journey. I’ve been there. I empathize. I also know they’re not interested in hearing about my struggles or anyone else’s so I don’t waste my energy on them.

    Maybe Mayor Pete should take a different tack, although I’m not sure what it would be. But I’m reminded of Barack Obama’s very deft handling of the controversy over his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who was videotaped in a sermon saying “God damn America” and bemoaning this country’s injustice. Obama said he hadn’t lived through what people of Jeremiah Wright’s generation had lived through, therefore it was not his place to judge them for how they feel or how they express it. It was one of his most eloquent speeches ever and it foreshadowed many more to come.

    If Mayor Pete advances in this presidential race, I have no doubt he’ll be confronted with the same kinds of footage, maybe worse: Gay activists saying things that will be shocking and distasteful to small-town America, not to mention drag queens and lewd performers displaying all kinds of outlandish, defiant, subversive behavior. JFK defending himself as a Roman Catholic was a cakewalk.

    If Mayor Pete wants to find common ground with black people, then perhaps he needs to tap into that vein of saucy irreverence toward da man that is the underlying spirit of every gay cabaret act and every black church. It’s the lifeblood of the gay aesthetic and the black aesthetic and it’s transcendent. Bill Clinton had a little of that irreverence himself, that twinkle in his eyes, and some black people even refer to him as “the first black president.”

    I don’t know whether it comes naturally to Mayor Pete. He’s a millennial. He has come into a world that is far more tolerant of gay people that it was for Gen-Xers or Boomers. He missed out on the gay subculture at its cultural zenith. I’m not saying he should become a screaming queen. Just loosen up a bit and channel some of that sassiness.

    It’s sass that animates those who want to “own the libs” after all. It’s the secret ingredient that’s missing in this entire field of candidates.

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  20. Connie said on November 30, 2019 at 6:31 am

    We drove across the state to Holland and back for Thanksgiving, then a Friday morning breakfast in Flint with all the in town in-laws.

    My 88 year old father’s 96 year old father in law has moved in with them (from California) and my youngest step has moved up from Florida with a crowd of almost grown kids. Thus doubling both the holiday crowd and noise level. Food was mostly a grocery store package with Gordon food service pies and gravy.

    Our daughter is finishing off her Joanns manager career with her last Black Friday weekend. Monday she takes her science degrees to a well paid laboratory job in Michigan’s new industry. She is looking forward to no more nights and weekends.

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  21. Suzanne said on November 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

    I would be on board with Mayor Pete getting Randy Rainbow to make a few campaign ads for him.

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  22. alex said on November 30, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Agreed Suzanne.

    Randy Rainbow. It reminds me that the rainbow symbol was largely appropriated by the gay movement because we come from all walks of life and we are empathetic toward all and we also know that we cannot fight for social justice all alone.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t any gay people who are racist or misogynistic or too self-absorbed in their own self-pity to embrace others, but as a movement we are inclusive. Just because our experiences aren’t all exactly the same doesn’t mean they are dissimilar. If you’ve known what it is to be disfavored in this society, you have a unique point of view.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on November 30, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Randy Rainbow is a gift to the world. BTW, he released a Christmas album, and it’s a hybrid of traditional and sendups of Christmas music.

    Connie, congrats to your daughter! JoAnn has become a miserable place to shop because they staff so low, so I can’t imagine it’s been fun to work there either. Our son is starting a new job in a week, as a legal assistant in a labor law firm. He’s #8 of 20 to leave his current job since a new boss started less than a year ago. ‘Nuff said.

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  24. Sherri said on November 30, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I’m not sure how much Mayor Pete does understand what it is to be disfavored in this society. I think of him as the Sheryl Sandberg of gay people, not quite sure what the problem is, if you just do what I do and conform to the status quo everything’s great.

    My Thanksgiving gathering was of our group of long time friends who are family by choice, and it was great as always. The kids are old enough now that they travel to come, and contribute to the table, but we don’t have a third generation yet.

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  25. alex said on November 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Sherri, I think Mayor Pete’s generation benefits from the trails that were blazed before his time, however I see him being faulted for remaining closeted until relatively recently, so obviously he gets it. Until relatively recently there was huge stigma associated with being gay and it’s still pervasive in much of this country. In many communities it can make you an absolute untouchable pariah.

    I’ve also seen him faulted by blacks with “You can hide what you are; I can’t. That’s your white privilege.”

    So is it fair to beat up on him for availing himself of his privilege? To my mind it’s about survival instincts. I’m guilty of it too in the past, not that it ever really helped. Living in constant fear of being found out or blackmailed takes an enormous toll, as does the whole experience of not being your authentic self just so you can be left alone unmolested in society and keep your job. I think he understands this. I also think it takes enormous self-discipline in order to sublimate one’s sexual desire in furtherance of other goals, which I believe is an admirable quality and desirable in a president.

    There are gay people — Herbert Hoover, Roy Cohn, former Governor Thompson of Illinois for instance — who were so driven that they overcompensated for being gay by becoming powerful in other ways, even throwing their own under the bus in pursuit of that power. I think it’s even possible that Mayor Pete found himself following that trajectory before recognizing that his conscience couldn’t abide it.

    In any case, despite his late coming out, I think that he is a deeply introspective and thoughtful person and unusually so for someone so young. A lot of people don’t think he has any business running for president and hasn’t paid his dues. They said that about Obama too. And you can hardly call him unqualified when you consider the dumb oaf who has the job right now.

    I don’t quite get the comparison with Sheryl Sandberg. He’s not offering tone-deaf prescriptives to gay people who weren’t Rhodes scholars or otherwise successful in the higher echelons of society.

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  26. nancy said on November 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    So, Connie, when you said, “…she takes her science degrees to a well paid laboratory job in Michigan’s new industry,” were you referring to cannabis?

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  27. Deborah said on November 30, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Oh great, now we find out there’s a strike coming up in major cities of France, starting on Dec 5th when we’ll be in Paris. It will effect transportation etc. We’re taking a train down to the south of France on the 7th, or at least we are scheduled to do that. I guess I wouldn’t mind getting stuck in Paris for an extra day or two but we’d have to scramble around to get a hotel for that. So far it doesn’t appear that our train is canceled but who knows what may happen. The Yellow Vests are supposed to be joining the strike so it might be kind of wild.

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  28. Connie said on November 30, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Nancy, yes, one of the new legal testing labs. She had exactly what they were looking for. Biology BS, lots of chem lab, both undergrad and grad. And no interest in the product fwiw. My impression is they are looking to hire more sciencey folk if you know any.

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  29. Deborah said on November 30, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Glad to hear they’re putting some good science into it.

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 30, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Alex, I’m assuming you mean J. Edgar and not Herbert, although he was married to a Lou.

    It’s an interesting quirk of Purdue history that, conservative though the campus and institution tends to have been through the years, the Old Oaken Bucket and Ross-Ade Stadium were brought into being by two for-the-1920s fairly openly gay men* . . . and the standard biography of John Purdue himself does everything but assert that he was, as well.

    The Boilermakers (and yes, their mascot has an interesting . . . vibe, too) did themselves proud today. Didn’t give up, tried hard, came close. And the coach was a mensch in post-game, unlike some other rivalry game head honchos. Ahem.

    *David Ross and George Ade, both never married, with Ade a little more openly in relationships than Ross, who may simply have been asexual, but didn’t seem to worry about what people thought which is of course much easier if you’re wealthy. Which Ross was . . . he invented & manufactured standardized steering assemblies for Henry Ford’s new gadgets coming out of Detroit.

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  31. alex said on November 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Of course I meant J. Edgar… senior brainfart moment. What a weird moment it is. I’m hip to Hoovering (first heard it as a descriptor of a blowjob) but losing my Hoovers.

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  32. beb said on November 30, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Are you sure “hoovering” came from the FBI director and not the British term for a vacuum cleaner? J, Edgar never came out so I’m not sure his name would be widely known for a type of sex, while the vacuum cleaner came out decades earlier and is known for its suction power.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on December 1, 2019 at 2:57 am

    About 30 years ago I found myself in Peru, Indiana, found a record store, and decided to enter and buy some Cole Porter vinyls or CDs. It was a large, well-stocked store, bins of every sort of music. I like Cole Porter tunes; Mom was the one of the parents who played records from the thirties and also a lot of Big Band tunes from the 40s and also early 50s pop. I grew up as a member of a captive audience of two, brother & me. Of course you folks know Cole Porter was a very famous Hoosier, and was from Peru. The young adults working the store had never heard of Cole Porter, and most certainly had no music by him except some sheet music, fer crissakes. Maybe too much time had passed, or maybe because he was sort of openly gay he was just dropped from social commentary.

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  34. beb said on December 1, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Dexter, I think by 1990 Cole Porter and his style of music was passe’. I did not know if he gay and suspect that none of the people in Indiana did either. Now I like big band music but it would be hard to find it in a record story because it’s so old – 80 years ago. Same with Porter.

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  35. alex said on December 1, 2019 at 9:36 am

    beb, I’m quite aware that Hoovering is all about suction.

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  36. Connie said on December 1, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Beginning today recreational marijuana is legal to purchase in Michigan.
    Locations are still limited, mostly in Ann Arbor with a couple more opening tomorrow. Lines are expected, plus out of state customers. Product being sold must be tested by a state licensed laboratory. Licensed medical dispensaries are still able to sell untested “caregiver” weed still on hand from their quasi legal previous existence, but buyers must sign a release.

    And the state has temporarily stopped sales of all THC vaping cartridges until they can be retested.

    Also the Indystar recently had advice about living next to two legal states: live in Marion County where they are no longer prosecuting possession of less than one ounce.

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  37. Suzanne said on December 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Interesting about Ross and Ade and John Purdue. I had no idea.
    IU had Herman B Wells. Back in the day, the story was that he wasn’t married because he was married to the University. It wasn’t until many years after I graduated that I was told he was gay. He was still alive when I was on campus back in the late 70s so I did see him a few times out and about.

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  38. Sherri said on December 1, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I see Mayor Pete offering tone deaf prescriptives to black people, because he doesn’t seem to grasp what it’s like to really be on the outside. Yes, maybe he experienced the stigma of being a closeted gay man, but he could pass, and he doesn’t seem to grasp what it really means to be outside the privilege he’s been afforded.

    He doesn’t show that he gets the systemic issues and how people like him benefit from them. He can’t just throw a Douglas Plan out there without addressing why he didn’t do any of that in South Bend. He can’t talk about what he’s going to do for the African-American community when he doesn’t involve the African-American community in the planning.

    That’s why I equate him to Sandberg: so unaware of his privilege, he hasn’t even begun to understand where to start. His campaign keeps saying that once African-Americans get to know him, they’ll like him. Well, he could have started with the African-Americans in his own city, and he’s been running for how long now? African-Americans are a key constituent of the Democratic base, much more important to winning the nomination than white men. If I were even thinking of running for President, the first thing I’d do is establish a relationship with the Rev. William Barber, not for transactional reasons, but because he’s doing the work that is right at the heart of the Democratic purpose.

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  39. JodiP said on December 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Dexter, thanks for all the mentions of The Irishman–it popped up as a recommendation on Netflix, and I got through just over 2 hours before I had to turn in. My wife finished it all. I will finish today as I do other tasks. I realized I had no idea really who Hoffa was, so I appreciate the story and how this was told.

    Our two T-days were fine. My oldest niece announced she is pregnant, which is a happy thing (except the world as we know is ending….) Her father, the husband of my sister is being a complete ass to his daughters. So, we’re advising them on how to handle the situation.

    It’s my favorite winter weather today: about 30, very little wind, and gently falling snow. The pup and I had a wonderful walk.

    I’m listening to a book about an American journalist working in Japan on the crime beat and he ends up investigating the gangs there. Really enjoying it. It’s called Tokyo Vice, by Jake Edelstein.

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  40. alex said on December 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Sherri, I’ve seen Mayor Pete faulted for an unarmed black person shot by police and for not making the police force proportionally representative of the population by race. I live in another mid-size city in the same state and the same thing happens here. A mayor can’t do diddly about unforeseen police actions unless he’s somehow able to walk every beat with every cop 24/7, and then do what? Throw himself in front of tasers and bullets? Our city has been trying to up its minority representation on the police force for decades, but the reality is that there are few applicants interested in the job despite aggressive recruitment campaigns and few qualified out of all applicants.

    The black community has called for our prosecutor’s head more than a few times, and she has made a good effort to meet with them and discuss reality. She’s honest with them. It’s not that that she’s unwilling to prosecute people in gang homicides. She’s unable to do so unless witnesses are willing to cooperate, which they seldom are.

    The attacks on Mayor Pete’s record as mayor carry about as much weight with me as Hillary’s e-mails. The fact is that he accomplished a lot of positive things that are working to lift up the whole city, and realistically there’s only so much anyone can do as mayor. But if you’ve made up your mind to write him off there’s nothing I can say that’s going to change it anyway.

    Similarly, I’m skeptical of those who write off Kamala Harris because of her record as a prosecutor. She was doing her job within the constraints and limitations that came with it. She probably recognizes better than anyone that the criminal justice system needs reformed and it’s too bad she isn’t making that a focus of her floundering campaign.

    I’m also sick of people saying that Elizabeth Warren is going to take away their private health insurance. She thinks the ideal would be Medicare for all with a very gradual phase-in but she has also said that the question of private insurance and its role can be revisited as time goes on. And yet she cannot get that message out there above the din of others including Mayor Pete who are making her plan out to be total garbage.

    I’ll vote for the eventual Dem nominee but I’m not particularly thrilled with any of them. Unfortunately this is an election that will depend on turnout and I don’t know whether anti-Trump sentiment alone will do it without an inspiring, dynamic candidate. It didn’t work in 2016 obviously.

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  41. Deborah said on December 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Not that it’s my business but I’m a little confused about your comment Jodi P about your nieces. Are you advising your sister and her husband or your nieces about the situation? I would assume it’s your nieces. Also, is your pregnant niece married? I thought I remember you telling us that here or on FB, that one of your nieces got married. Why would her father object? Again, it’s none of my business and you certainly don’t have to go into personal details.

    We spent the day getting the holiday gift for my husband’s granddaughter squared away (the granddaughter we are going to see in California after we return from France). We got her an iPad mini and we downloaded some apps on it today for her to draw and do simple animation which she is very interested in. It took both of us hours of tearing our hair out trying to figure it all out. We got a digital pencil for it too and Lordy, I can’t even imagine what it will take for us to figure out how to activate that. That’s next.

    I’m trying to tie up all of the loose ends before leaving for France tomorrow, our flight is in the evening so we have most of the day tomorrow too. I have 2 books to read on the flight and of course there are movies to watch and who knows maybe I’ll even be able to sleep a bit.

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  42. Sherri said on December 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    It’s not just about his record as mayor, it’s that he hasn’t shown that he’s learned anything.

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  43. alex said on December 1, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    But for the kerfuffle in South Bend seized upon by his rivals and also by right-wing media, it wouldn’t be a story.

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