Supplemental reading.

Yeesh, what a week, although now we’re over the hump, so to speak. Less of it after today than there was this morning.

There certainly was a lot of news today. Let’s get to it:

A friend of mine is making progress persuading his father not to vote for Trump in November. He read some verbatim passages from a recent rally, then asked whether this man should have the nuclear codes. Good thing dad doesn’t listen to NPR, because he might beg to differ:

By almost any standard, President Donald Trump’s rally on Tuesday evening in Milwaukee was a bizarre affair. The president went on a lengthy tirade about lightbulbs, toilets, and showers; touted war crimes; joked about a former president being in hell; and said he’d like to see one of his domestic political foes locked up.

…But for media outlets that view themselves as above taking sides, attempts to provide a sober, “balanced” look at presidential speeches often end up normalizing things that are decidedly not normal.

A brief report about Trump’s Milwaukee speech that aired Wednesday morning on NPR illustrates this phenomenon. The anchor’s intro framed Trump’s at times disjointed ramblings as a normal political speech that “ranged widely,” and the ensuing report (which originated from member station WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio) characterized his delivery as one in which he “snapped back at Democrats for bringing impeachment proceedings.”

My sustaining pledge to my local station lapsed when my credit card expired. I’ve been dragging my feet restarting it. This is one reason.

A few days ago, I posted a photo from the meeting described in this story. It was an amazing pic, in black-and-white, by a Minneapolis Star-Tribune shooter. It was actually of many of the same people in the picture with this story, actually, just better composed and in black-and-white. A few of my friends shared it, and the usual comments started, about liberal disdain for the honest working class, etc. etc. But how are you supposed to feel about this:

Reed Olson knew some members of his community would actively oppose his attempt as a Beltrami County commissioner to tell the world the county is a welcoming place for refugees.

But he didn’t anticipate the level of misinformation that would spread ahead of the vote last week rejecting refugee resettlement — an action that has led some to associate Bemidji and the rest of the county with racism and intolerance.

It isn’t clear who started the spread of misinformation about refugees in Beltrami County. One piece included a text message framed as a prayer and call to action.

“Prayer @ Action needed,” the message read, adding, “Possibly 100’s of Muslims!!”

I looked up Bemidji on a map. It’s way, way, way the hell up north in Minnesota. The idea of hundreds of Muslims relocating there is ludicrous, and even if it weren’t — how could the place not be improved by a few hundred new residents? It’s not like the ones there are reproducing.

Also, what the hell: Was someone stalking the Ukrainian ambassador with evil intent? This stupid country.

On to Thursday.

Posted at 9:10 pm in Current events |

78 responses to “Supplemental reading.”

  1. Suzanne said on January 15, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    If you are not watching Rachel Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas, you should be. He’s naming names.

    When asked if Pence knew what was happening, he said, “There’s no way he didn’t know.”

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  2. Sherri said on January 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    So, Mitch McConnell is going to be content to go down in history as the consigliere for a stupid, greedy, incompetent crime boss.

    And the Worthless Moderate Susan Collins will once again clutch those pearls and fall in line.

    While the media worries about whether Sanders and Warren are being nice enough to each other, nobody seems to notice that Jack Dorsey has more power to be a check on trump than Congress, if he chose to exercise it. But he won’t, because what’s a little republic when your stock price is going up?

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  3. alex said on January 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    By almost any standard, President Donald Trump’s rally on Tuesday evening in Milwaukee was a bizarre affair.

    Weirder than all of his other rallies in the last four years? Really? I’m sorry to have missed it because he’s been such a reliably tedious bore.

    Seriously, I’m as sick of the normalization of this shit as anyone. When the local newspaper announced today that it was finally instituting a paywall my response was meh. I pay less for an online subscription to the Washington Post and for the most part get much more objective coverage of this shit show than the $20/month the Journal-Gazette wants to charge for its watered-down wire service crap and namby-pamby editorializing.

    So I’ll miss out on all of the local car crashes, fires and gang murders, or lame features about how someone’s faith carried them through a tragedy. I can get the most sensational of those for free on the local TV web sites so I won’t be missing much. The dead tree edition has recently become as slim as its now-defunct afternoon counterpart was before it went under, so as much as I want to support local journalism, I also can’t see wasting money on something that has been giving away its content for free for many years but hasn’t been producing anything of much value for some time now.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on January 16, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Alex, I am so far left I used to get called a Communist regularly, although I not only don’t carry a card, I never saw one. But now my lefty pals chide me for reading the sensationalist and funny stories on the totally free NY Post. Hell, I don’t read their editorials, just the dished-up reports. I don’t do paywalls because of my penchant for big-dough cable TV stations and I cannot pay 15 paywalls, so I don’t pay any of them…off the paywall grid, I suppose. Papers have to generate income so I get the business model, but they can go after people with incomes, not pensioners like me.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on January 16, 2020 at 3:16 am

    Here’s a blurb I found that jumped a paywall , from Angola, Indiana: Bedbug infestation closes courthouse
    By Mike Marturello Jan 14, 2020
    ANGOLA — A woman reportedly infested with bedbugs who was attending a hearing in the Steuben County Courthouse caused county officials to close the building in order to prevent the parasite from spreading.

    The courthouse was declared closed after 10 a.m. the situation occurred.

    “We had a client enter the premises who brought in with them (the bugs) that caused us a concern and we took care of it,” said Ron Smith, president of the Steuben County Board of Commissioners. Smith did not want to confirm the problem was bedbugs, but courthouse employees not authorized to speak to the media did confirm the pest.
    Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. They can cause skin problems for their victims. Because they travel fast, they are a pest that need to be dealt with quickly, online sources said.

    There was also chatter about the problem on social media outlets, mainly Facebook.

    There obviously were some cases being heard in court at the time of the incident.

    “They had to shut some things down,” Smith said.

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  6. Linda said on January 16, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Normalizing presidents is nothing new. When Michael Moore strung together film clips of Bush II looking like a doofus it created a sensation, but he didn’t climb walls and take surreptitious shots. All this stuff was available to film crews anywhere. We were just protected from them. Now news crews are protecting us from learning our President is crazy.

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  7. alex said on January 16, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Dex, kpc is the other firewall I pay for. Don’t know how I missed the bedbug story. I’m sure they’ve had worse contagion in the Angola courthouse but just didn’t know it.

    Can’t stand their conservative bent though: John Stossel, John Rosemond, and of late Leo Morris (voice of Indiana’s resentful Appalachic apparatchik). And their editorial cartoons make Nancy Pelosi look like a ghoul. But it’s actually pretty decent local news coverage. As you can see, reporters manage to get the back story out of people in the same offices where the officials are mum.

    I’ll see how much I miss the JG before I shell out for it. If there’s no firewall on the obits I doubt I’ll bother subscribing.


    True, Linda. The media have always hidden the functional incapacities of our presidents. With FDR it was everything below the waist. With Trump it’s been everything above the neck.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 16, 2020 at 8:14 am

    But is Mitch a wartime consigliere?

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  9. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Isn’t $20/month for the online JG more than the print subscription price? We get the retiree deal, and Dennis dearly loves sitting down with his tea and his paper, even if it is a slim little thing now.

    We got the N-S up to the bitter end too, even though we disagreed with its editorial stance. When I come to their page now I don’t even look at it. I don’t need that kind of aggravation.

    Which is also why I listen to NPR a lot less. I do like Here and Now, in the 12-2 slot locally. It’s a joint production of WBUR Boston and the BBC, and much more independent.

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  10. JodiP said on January 16, 2020 at 9:34 am

    I stopped listening to NPR after their coverage of the 2016 presidential race. They covered Clinton much less; it was so much Trump coverage. I remember not hearing about Clinton for quite a while,then she stumbled or something and they went on and on about whether or not she was fit. I do love the Marketplace universe of podcasts so I began donating to them. Kai routinely says this is a stupid way to run an economy when he reports on the trade wars and calls out inaccurate statements by Trump are about who is paying the cost. Hint: not China.

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  11. Nancy F said on January 16, 2020 at 11:36 am

    The bedbug story cited by Dexter #5 sounds suspicious to me. I have reason to know more than I’d like to know about bedbugs, and here are a couple of the things I know: Bedbugs don’t “travel fast” (they’re sluggish, in fact, to use a cross-species metaphor), and they don’t hitchhike on clothing. They prefer to hole up in the dark crevices in mattresses and furniture, emerging only to feed. They won’t latch on to your pets, either: human blood only. More here:

    The woman in the courtroom may have had some other bug issue (lice? scabies?), but it’s highly unlikely the problem was bedbugs.

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  12. Deborah said on January 16, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    I don’t get this Parnas dude. I didn’t watch the Rachel interview because I’m back in Abiquiu. I’ve read snippets about it online and I don’t understand his motivation. He doesn’t seem to have a plea agreement with SDNY, so he seems to be using the media to get “his” story out there. He seems to be putting all of his eggs in the basket against Trump, which doesn’t make sense for someone in his position to do. Can anyone out there help me understand this better? doesn’t seem to have a plea agreement with SDNY, so he seems to be using the media to get “his” story out there. He seems to be putting all of his eggs in the basket against Trump, which doesn’t make sense for someone in his position to do. Can anyone out there help me understand this better?

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  13. Deborah said on January 16, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Whoa, I don’t know what happened to my comment above about Parnas, I’m in Abiquiu where service is sketchy so I guess that’s it.

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  14. Jakash said on January 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Here’s a fun thread — a short, extremely low-stakes, real-life detective story which takes place on the train to Edinburgh.

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  15. Jakash said on January 16, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    “Can anyone out there help me understand this better?”

    I can’t, but here’s a thread of random folks discussing the question, Deborah.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s actually getting his story out as a form of protection.”

    “One reason I heard he came out ahead was he got the go ahead from SDNY…”

    “Hundred percent protection. Public record is one of the best documentations available.”

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  16. beb said on January 16, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I read a bunch of lefty blogs — Huffpost, Slate, Salon — you know the real radicals (snark) and I’ve been hearing about Trump’s weird jihads against light bulbs that make him look orange, low-flow toilets (that have been fixed for 20 years) and dish washers that start with an explosion (!) and only give you a few drops. He makes Poppy Bush’s amazement over bar code scanners look trite. But it’s the other stuff that should frighten people — encouraging chants of “Lock her up,” suggesting various deceased Democrats are in hell (Dingell, LBJ), talking about staying in office for more than two terms, encouraging police to rough up their prisoners. This isn’t mere hyperbole, this is flat out fascist talking. These are the words of a dictator. The media needs to make that clear.

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  17. Deborah said on January 16, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    It’s snowing in Abiquiu, fine misty flakes that make visibility outside the cabin limited. Temps in the mid 30s now but by Friday night it will be in the teens. I’m looking forward to reheating on the wood burning stove a chicken stew I made in Santa Fe. I’m reading “My Life in France” by Julia Child with her grand nephew Alex Prud’ Homme, it’s excellent, came out in 2006 but I hadn’t heard of it then, my sister in law in Pasadena had it and I asked to borrow it when we were there recently. She also had “Breathing Lessons” by Anne Tyler which I finished, even though it wasn’t very good.

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  18. alex said on January 16, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Just did Instant Pot split pea with ham a la Kenji Lopez-Alt, only I livened it up with some fresh thyme. (I don’t understand why he would leave that out of his recipe and not the needless snark about Linda Blair puke.) Perfect dinner for a cold night. And it’s going to be a shitty weekend so I plan to spend it playing with new recipes for comfort food.

    Dahlia’s in good form today:

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  19. Suzanne said on January 16, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    I made this, not in an Instant Pot, but on the stovetop. It was excellent!

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  20. Dexter Friend said on January 16, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Trump likes to talk about Democrats looking up from hell. LBJ, we find, is also down there with Dingell, looking up through hellfire. Soon enough, this criminal will also be “looking up” from hell, with Nixon & all his buddies. Chris Matthews had an observation today, comparing the horn honking and yelling when Nixon was on the hot seat in 1974, to today. Absolutely zero protesters around the SCOTUS or the Capitol or near the White House. People are ignoring all this or are holed up watching on their phones.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on January 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Suzanne, that recipe doesn’t sound like it should work, so I’m glad to know you liked it. I don’t always have the courage to try a new recipe if it’s unusual. But I know I looooove split pea soup, and we have a ham right now. We just finished the ham, green bean, and potato soup, so it’s time for split pea.

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  22. Dorothy said on January 17, 2020 at 11:18 am

    I usually try to avoid interaction with him, but hey Pilot Joe – please read this and get back to us with all of the positive things you have to say about the Stable Genius after you digest all of this information:

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  23. Joe Kobiela said on January 17, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Believe what you want, I don’t really care what you or anyone else thinks about myself or any other Trump supporters. Guess we will find out in November.
    Pilot Joe

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  24. Suzanne said on January 17, 2020 at 11:57 am

    For all you journalists out there, after watching the Lev Parnas interview the last 2 nights, and being surprised that his deep Russian mob connections were not really mentioned, I began wondering why more hasn’t been reported about Trump’s deep mob ties. It seems like there haven’t been many big media big stories about that. Or did I miss them? The country is basically being run by mobsters and the press seems to ignore it. Any idea why? Overworked journalists? Fear?

    Julie, give the chili recipe a try! It’s wonderful!

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  25. Dorothy said on January 17, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    How do you all live with yourselves when you learn the facts and still choose not to acknowledge how unsuited he is to do that job?

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  26. Heather said on January 17, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    I’m guessing that certain people don’t see the Washington Post as offering facts. Never mind that reporters for respectable publications have to have airtight sources for everything they write.

    In other words–Forget it, Dorothy. It’s Trumptown.

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  27. Scout said on January 17, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Our mission for the November election is to keep the blue wave rolling. One thing the past three years has accomplished is to engage a lot of people who didn’t formerly think participating in elections mattered. We need to understand that we cannot penetrate the Fox”News”/MAGA hive mind. Instead, we acknowledge that we are not the dumbshit whisperers or cult deprogrammers and we use our energy to involve people of conscience and integrity in the process. Thank you for reading my TED talk.

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  28. Carter Cleland said on January 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I was disgusted to open my Wednesday Chicago Tribune, and see, above the fold, NOT the Tuesday debate, NOT the impending Senate impeachment trial -but a big pic of Trump’s Milwaukee rant-fest.

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  29. Dorothy said on January 17, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    You’re right, Heather. I just find it so sad and I’m disillusioned to know that so many people in the country are willing to play fast and loose with the truth. Not all of them are uneducated asshol@@ – I dropped all contact with a woman who I’d been friends with since 1983. We met when our first kids were being baptized at our church. She went to college and has a kind heart. That’s why I find it so amazing that someone with those qualities can’t think for herself and see him for what he is. Her only ONLY priority is that he’s pro-life.

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  30. Suzanne said on January 17, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    “Her only ONLY priority is that he’s pro-life.”
    Yeah, I know so many people like this. It is the only thing they vote on. Never mind that Trump, I am sure, has funded quite a few abortions in his lifetime and that he only claims to be pro-life for votes. Nope, gotta save those babies so they can die for lack of medical care…

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  31. Jakash said on January 17, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Well, it was worth a shot, anyway, Dorothy. PJ isn’t much for substantive debate. I’ve taken the time to reply in earnest to a number of his aimlessly fired talking points, yet he’s never responded. “Believe what you want…” That says it all.

    Uh, it’s not a matter of “belief”, it’s a matter of facts (the truth) and “alternative facts” (Trumpworld’s lies and misdirections.) No wonder that our president “loves the poorly educated.” He also loves the willfully miseducated.

    The Republicans spent 25 years conducting various “witch hunts” against Hillary. You’d think they could have gotten something to stick, if it weren’t all misogynistic, bullshit politics. But no, all they could do in the end was prevent her from becoming president when she garnered 3 million more votes. And for that, they needed the help of the Russians, their supposed #1 enemy for over 70 years.

    On the other hand — “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicted or got guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies during their lengthy investigation. That group is composed of six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Seven of these people (including five of the six former Trump advisers) have pleaded guilty.” Uh, I believe that. Whether it’s what one wants to believe, or not, it’s a fact.

    That’s what can happen when the “witch hunt” is conducted against actual “witches.” Or criminals, or bastards, or whatever you wanna call them.

    Bill Clinton was impeached because he lied under oath, as I’m sure PJ loved to point out. The ONLY reason Trumplethinskin hasn’t lied under oath about all manner of activity he’s been engaged in, both as president and before, is that, for some reason, he has never had to testify about that activity — Russia, Ukraine, etc. When you’re a Trumper, selling the country out to the Russians, threatening ambassadors, using foreign aid as your own campaign prop — none of these things is evidently as significant as a blow job. And the logical way to run a trial is to make sure not to call any witnesses.

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  32. Scout said on January 17, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Trump claiming to be ‘pro-life’ is as ludicrous as his claiming to be a Christian. He is not either one of these things, but by pretending to be both he cons the suckers every damn time. I’d pity them if their stupidity wasn’t so toxic and downright dangerous.

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  33. Deborah said on January 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Heather, I love the Chinatown reference.

    Scout, I’d listen to your Ted talks everyday.

    Suzanne, I’m going to try that recipe someday.

    Dorothy, chin up, it’s depressing I agree. I don’t get it either.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on January 17, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Blah, blah, blah,
    We got him now, three and a half years and guess what, still defeated Hilly, still President, you ever stop and think that maybe there are people that are sick and tired of you going on and on and on and on and on about one thing or another. Your like chicken little, the sky is falling the sky is falling. Like I said before the problem with liberals is not only do you think your the smartest person in the room, you just can’t stand that the fact the rest of us don’t think your the smartest person in the room.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Scout said on January 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    For at least the thousandth time, it’s YOU’RE.

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  36. David C. said on January 17, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    This has been the winter from hell. First, I ruptured the disc in my back. This morning, I slipped on the ice and broke my favorite wrist. The damned cast is already making me itch after only four hours. I think I’m going to wear a bubble wrap suit until May.

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  37. Dorothy said on January 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    David I’m so sorry. You probably didn’t mean to make anyone laugh at what you said, but ‘my favorite wrist’ really made me smile. If it makes you feel any better, I had a blood clot in my favorite leg in November. In three weeks I’m having a venous ablation done to prevent the clot from going up to my lungs or heart. If I have a stroke after February 10, it’ll be brought on by hearing that the syphilitic resident of the White House was not impeached by the Senate.

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  38. Dexter Friend said on January 17, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Three words you are going to be hearing for the next three weeks: ancillary, hearsay , and eyewitness. Ancillary evidence could be what Lev Parnas has hidden way up his sleeve, possibly recordings, audio or video. Hearsay is being bandied about everytime a reporter holds a mic in front of every damn Republican today and yesterday. They are not going to allow any “hearsay evidence”. Hence, the all-importance of ancillary, or corroborating evidence against Trump. Now the big one, eyewitness. This simply means calling on by subpoena one John Bolton; of course, any others that are willing to share the goddam truth with the jurors.

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  39. Icarus said on January 17, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    But no, all they could do in the end was prevent her from becoming president when she garnered 3 million more votes.

    Except Trumpsters believe that those 3 million votes came from illegals in California and New York.

    I’m not too naive to believe that some voter fraud exists. But 3 million? come on. That just isn’t possible.

    Over the holidays my BIL Jethro brought up Obama. He believes Obama is an Ethiopian. I said, “don’t you mean Kenyan?” Nope, Ethiopian. He cannot even get his conspiracy theory correct.

    “Why did Obama wait so long to show his birth certificate?” Jethro asked.

    “Why should he have had to show it, no other president or presidential candidate had to,” I replied. “like Trump and his tax returns.”

    Dead silence.

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  40. Dexter Friend said on January 17, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    29th? C’mon, Hoosiers! You are better that that! Drink up, goddammitt! K P C is the copy source
    “When it comes to knocking back a few brews, a glass of wine or hitting shots, Indiana is just your average drinker compared to other states.

    In a study put out by, Indiana was ranked as the 29th “drunkest state.” The nationwide rankings were based on the most recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI, among others.

    Washington D.C. was ranked No. 1 overall — as the home of national politics, maybe that’s not totally surprising — while Arkansas held the 51st spot.
    Based on the data, about 54% of Indiana adults drink regularly and the state posted a 4.7% increase in adult drinking rate between 2008-2017. About 25% of adults binge drink regularly.

    Indiana has 3.7 craft breweries per 100,000 residents and the average Hoosier consumes about 2.11 gallons of alcohol per year.

    Indiana’s middle-of-the-pack ranking probably has more to do with some ancillary factors than it does with regular drinking. The state was No. 6 overall for change in drinking rate and No. 17 overall for craft breweries per capita.

    But Hoosiers were 34th for regular drinking, 37th for binge drinking and 41st for consumption per capita, all in the lower third of states.

    The Hoosier state has a long history with alcohol in the post-Prohibition years, including a fight for many years to legalize alcohol carryout sales on Sundays.
    Sunday sales finally passed after several years of debate at the Statehouse and became legal in 2018 — although you can still only buy alcohol between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays, as opposed to 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. any other day of the week.

    Still, niche liquor laws remain. For example, Hoosiers can still only buy cold beer at liquor stores, as it’s banned from being sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies.

    Indiana ranked behind Illinois (18th) and Michigan (24th), while ranking ahead of Ohio (33rd) and Kentucky (43rd) in SafeHome’s rankings.

    About 86% of Americans consume at least some alcohol, although fewer drink regularly and few binge drink regularly.

    About 6% of Americans suffer with alcoholism, while the national alcohol-related death rate is about 12.6 per 100,000 people. Nationally, police make alcohol-related arrests at a rate of approximately 426 per 100,000 people.” <<

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  41. Jakash said on January 17, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Aw, PJ, if you’d left it at “Blah, blah, blah,” that would have been a relatively on-point and effective rebuttal to one of my useless 2200-character screeds.

    But then you had to continue. Just to be clear — I, for one, certainly don’t think I’m the smartest person in *this* room, by a long shot. If that kinda thing bothers you, though, you know who exhibits a maniacal overconfidence in his own knowledge about things? The unstable dolt that you’re attempting to defend.

    “I know more about drones than anybody.”

    “I think nobody knows more about campaign finance than I do.”

    “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.”

    “I know more about courts than any human being on Earth.”

    “I understand politicians better than anybody.”

    “Nobody knows more about trade than me.”

    “I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world.”

    “I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me.”

    “Technology — nobody knows more about technology than me.”

    Yet he doesn’t even seem to have mentioned knowing the most about bankrupting casinos, using supposed charities for his own financial benefit, or paying 25-million-dollar settlements for fraud. Blah, blah, blah…

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  42. Jakash said on January 17, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Well, to go along with Dexter’s fine snapshot of Indiana alcohol consumption, today is the 100th anniversary of the day that Prohibition went into effect nationwide, for those scoring at home.

    I’ve had a few unexpected run-ins with Indiana’s previous no-selling-beer-on-Sunday policy, myself. Uh, it sucked!

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  43. Deborah said on January 17, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Dorothy, I only know this because I read Neal Katyal’s book “Impeach” a few weeks ago, but the house already impeached Trump, it’s a done deal, it is forever. The senate now is engaged in the task of removing him from office or not. Clinton was impeached by the house but not removed from office by the senate, same thing with Andrew Johnson. Impeachment stands though no matter what the senate does, it will be mentioned in Trumps obituary, again no matter what happens.

    Is it just me or does PJ seem a tad defensive?

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  44. David C. said on January 17, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Well Dorothy, I stole the favorite wrist line from the doctor who took care of me and it made me laugh. So far, Tylenol is keeping the pain fairly tolerable. I don’t think I’ll have to get the prescription for Oxy filled.

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  45. Deborah said on January 17, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    More on the ongoing saga of ordering a floor lamp from Amazon that came without a base. I tried to get them to just send me a base but no, I had to return the lamp and ask for a whole replacement. You guessed it the replacement came without a base too. I checked the original listing on Amazon to make sure it actually included a base, and of course it says a base is included, even gives the dimensions. So I decided to just return the replacement lamp and get my money back, which I set up with Amazon. Well lo and behold today LB texted me that a third lamp has been delivered, unasked for… WITH NO BASE! I can’t even fricking believe that now I have to deal with a third return. In the meantime LB and I found a lamp in Santa Fe and it is already in use. Grrrr.

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  46. Heather said on January 17, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    I don’t think I’m the smartest person in the room either. But I do think Trump is probably the dumbest person in every room he’s in.

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  47. Indiana Jack said on January 17, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Maybe I’m getting cranky in my old age, but I’ve grown weary of the whining from the likes of Pilot Joe. I suspect if I met the guy, I could find enough common ground for a conversation.
    But the conservative GOP track record has worn me down:
    1968 – Nixon diddles with Vietnam peace talks for political advantage, costing countless lives.
    1970 – Kent State.
    1972 – A bungled burglary for election “dirt” at the Watergate.
    1980 – Reagan and company deal with Iran back channel while U.S. hostages are held then divert cash to nun killers in Central America.
    2000 – Gore presidency prevented by Supreme Court ruling.
    2002 – War in Iraq based upon campaign of lies.
    2016 – Trump loses popular election with help of Russian interference.
    And that’s the short list. It doesn’t include the war of racist bullshit against Obama or decades-long efforts to limit voting rights of African-Americans.
    Pilot Joe, I am simply exhausted by all this crap. These are the crimes against America that have defined a good chunk of my life, and those in your corner are responsible.

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  48. Sherri said on January 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Honestly, I do think I’m smarter than Pilot Joe. I don’t care whether he thinks so, though.

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  49. alex said on January 17, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    Did “today in history” bring up the time when Pilot Joe said he was smarter than Obama with his fake Ivy League degrees? Is that what this is all about?

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  50. beb said on January 17, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    I’m a sucker for time travel stories. Yesterday I heard of a book with an incredible fascinating time travel plot. There is a group of women going back in time to change events in a way to improve the lot of woman in the present. During their travels they discover that there is also a group of men, gamergate types, who are going back through time trying to make the lot of woman worse. So the story becomes an edit-war between these two groups. I haven’t read the book, never heard of the author before, but I’m tempted to.

    The book is “The Future of Another Timeline” by Annalee Newitz

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  51. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2020 at 3:17 am

    beb, I am fascinated at filmmakers’ and authors’ takes on time travel. I think in another life, in the past, I lived in Brooklyn during the 1940s. I am enticed with this fantasy anyway. I discovered I had never seen but snippets of the drippiest “chick flick” of all time, “Somewhere in Time”, which was ballyhooed in the press 40 years ago because it was filmed mostly at The Mackinac Hotel.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 18, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Thought I’d post this here, knowing there are a number of Purdue alumns on the board; my years at Cary Quadrangle were 1978-82.

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  53. Dorothy said on January 18, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Of course, Deborah – I knew that! I had a brain fart trying to remember exactly what it is the Senate has to do. For some reason I was thinking it was “Impeachment: Part II”! I’m very aware that impeachment is always and forever, no backsies, no do-overs. They can’t be gotten rid of like, say, a tattoo.

    Scout a thought occurred to me last night: someone who can’t or refuses to learn the difference between your and you’re is never, ever going to understand what makes a good president and what makes a bad president. Heels get dug in, stubbornness and bullheadedness take over and eventually all ability to reason is eradicated. Contractions don’t stand a chance.

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  54. LAMary said on January 18, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Any of the Purdue grads here attend between 71 and 75? A friend from high school was a quarterback there at that time. He was an All American.

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  55. Jakash said on January 18, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    That’s a nice piece, MM Jeff. I managed to make it through that whole game, rooting against both teams, but I did find out why Mr. Burrows won the Heisman Trophy. I’d never seen him play before. I never watch the post-game nonsense unless it’s a team I really care about — often, not even then.

    But I’m curious. LSU must have quite a publicity operation, as they have an ad attached to the piece. Whatever kinda operation Purdue has, the algorithm wouldn’t have noticed, since you never mentioned the Boilermakers by name. The Blue Aces got a shout-out, but not them. Was that by design, and if so, why? Because it’s not very complimentary to their players, perhaps?

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  56. Jakash said on January 18, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Alex @ 49,

    No, but that’s illuminating. It’s just PJ griping about how condescending we liberals are, as usual. He seems to take it poorly that we refuse to lap up his favorite charlatan’s snake oil, for some reason.

    There’s a lot I don’t understand about rational folks going all-in for the Marmalade Mussolini. But one of the oddest things about it is that their devotion to Cult 45 is not in service of some salt-of-the-Earth, blue-collar, hail-fellow-well-met, regular Joe. They are willing to sell out their life-long principles for the sake of the kind of jerk they say they’ve despised all along. An East Coast, big-city, born-on-third-base, Ivy-League-educated, sexually promiscuous real estate developer who has a history of stiffing contractors he’s worked with. I gotta say — hating the right people, disparaging the other side in a crude way, and giving rich people tax breaks is a more effective mix than I’d have thought. Well, and Trumpy pretending that he cares about “unborn babies” when he doesn’t even seem to care all that much about his own children, too, of course.

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  57. Dorothy said on January 18, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    What a leader. What a presence. What an asshole.

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  58. Brian stouder said on January 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    What Jakash said. When President Clinton was in office, I had a visceral dislike for him, and Democrats in general. I was a Republican and a National Review subscriber, and a Conservative Book Club member with shelves of books attacking liberals and Democrats and public education(!) and mandatory curb cuts(!) for handicapped people, amongst other things. And then, that all changed. Not sure how or why….my theory is that reading US history began to affect (and improve) my perspective. Our 2020 American election cycle will no doubt affect (and sharpen) many, many folks’ perspective, going forward. BTW – a total non sequitur – how on Earth does the drug-abuse song Go Ask Alice help sell tickets for a cruise-line? Everytime that ad comes on, I shudder a little

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  59. Brian stouder said on January 18, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    …and what Dorothy said!

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  60. LAMary said on January 18, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Brian, I’ve wondered about White Rabbit being used in the cruise line ads too. What is the message they’re trying to send?

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  61. Joe Kobiela said on January 18, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Since the libs here can’t figure it out after 3.5 yrs I’ll let you in on a secret. Is not so much we like Trump as a person, it’s just we hated the piece of shit he was running against so bad we had no other choice. If madam pantsuit would have run a campaign instead of a coronation she might have won, or if the dnc had not stacked the deck in her favor in the primaries you may have gotten Bernie and he would have had a shot at winning, but nooooo kanckels Clinton was the chosen one so this is what your stuck with, and as long as the economy stays good and remember “it’s the economy stupid” and the dnc runs the train wreck of candidates they have now, Lizzy can’t seem to tell the truth,(got fired for being pregnant, father was just a janitor, I’m a Indian) or Bernie let’s make everything free,free,free, let alone creepy old Joe who looks like a walking Alzheimer’s poster you will get 4 more years of President Trump and blame everyone but your selfs. La Mary Mark Vitali?

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  62. Jakash said on January 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Gee, I wonder if there’s some possible explanation for why a middle-aged white Republican man finds a qualified woman to be a “piece of shit” and carefully selects the word “kanckels” to describe her.

    And is laser-focused on 3 alleged lies of “Lizzy,” when his “no other choice” candidate tells 3 lies before he gets out of bed in the morning, and has indisputably told more documented lies than any president in history, perhaps more than all of the previous presidents combined.

    Uh, taking shots at Bernie and Joe doesn’t quite cover for the mind-boggling misogyny there, PJ. But, seriously, “kanckels” is a Hall-of-Famer, even for you.

    I do apologize for egging on the troll, though, folks. I was just foolishly hoping for some response that would go beyond 3.5-year-old right-wing-bullshit talking points, but I certainly should have known better.

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  63. Heather said on January 18, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    I’ll just point out that the stock market isn’t the economy. The average American who doesn’t have $500 in a savings account and lives paycheck to paycheck isn’t benefiting from that. But I guess if you’re good with praying every day that the execs pulling down millions in bonuses decide not to lay you off or close up shop to please the shareholders and make themselves even more money off your hard work, or that you don’t get cancer or some other major disease because your deductible is $8,000, not to mention the coinsurance costs, it’s all fine.

    And LOL you think BIDEN seems like he has Alzheimers? Trump is a few years away from visibly drooling, if he’s not already.

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  64. susan said on January 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I don’t like Bill Maher, but he was on pretty good behaviour when he talked with Speaker Pelosi. She made me smile.

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  65. beb said on January 18, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    There is so much talk about this Lev Parnas and the tons of evidence he has apparently given too the House Foreign Affairs committee. (Much in need of independent confirmation). It made me realize that a scandal that began with Trump “nice country you have here; it would be a shame if something were to happened to it.” to this convoluted mess involving Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Barr, Perry, Gulianni, etc. Has gone for simple and easy to understand to so complex and confusing with so many parts that I think most people have screened it out.

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  66. susan said on January 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    The FatNixon admin has slimed its toxic sludge into places we’ll only ever find out about by chance. This shit is really frightening.

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  67. Suzanne said on January 18, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I agree beb. It’s complex, convoluted, and crazy. Bottom line is that our country is now being run by an amalgamation of Evangelical Christians and the Russian mob.

    Pilot Joe, I hear what you said frequently from others; that Hillary was so horrendous that she absolutely couldn’t be voted for. I understand not liking her but I don’t understand voting for someone who clearly presents such a danger to the country instead. My husband could not stand Hillary, either, and voted for Gary Johnson. To me, your logic is like not wanting a robber in your house so you let in a serial killer to keep the robber at bay and hope he doesn’t murder your whole family.

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  68. LAMary said on January 18, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Joe, why are you addressing me on this? Or are you? I try to avoid feeding you, the troll. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. But let’s go over what you wrote. First of all it would be SELVES not SELFS. Other than that we need to consider what we knew about Trump during the campaign. We knew he paid off porn actresses, call girls and Playboy bunnies he slept with while he was married. We knew he dodged the draft. We knew he lied about his health, his wealth and he refused to show his tax forms. We knew about multiple bankruptcies, lawsuits filed against him for racial discrimination, and his business practice of not paying contractors, vendors and employees. We knew he had undocumented workers at his golf clubs and hotels and we knew he liked to grab women by the pussy.
    But still, you didn’t like Hillary’s attitude so you voted for this morally bankrupt, egotistical liar.
    Please explain in one paragraph. Spelling and punctuation will be considered in your grade.

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  69. Deborah said on January 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    PJ, you might try to read this by your hero Sully, about Trump

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  70. Dorothy said on January 18, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    Mary – excellent list you made. You forgot just a couple of things that are important in my eyes. He made fun of a disabled reporter from the New York Times and he demeaned the Gold Start parents of a slain soldier who happened to be Iraqi born but was in the United States military. (Sorry for that sloppy description but you know who I mean.)

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  71. Jim said on January 18, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    LA Mary: I think Pilot Joe was trying to guess the Purdue QB.

    Jeff tmmo: I was at Purdue in grad school from 1975-1981. Tutored many athletes (Joe Barry, Bart Burrell, Arnette Hallman, Scoobie) and had some great relationships. Don’t doubt your story for a second though.

    We used to drink beer Wednesday nights at the Stabilizer with giant DL and OL. They would order two pitchers at a time, and hold one in a single hand like a beer mug. The scale looked correct. Loved listening to Kool Ray and the Polaroidz there.

    My favorite drinking buddy was Mike Farris, who allegedly “intimidated” a TA to obtain a copy of a Business Final. Even at his 3rd string LB level he parked anywhere he wanted wo repercussions.

    True story: Arnette fell asleep in a 1-1 tutoring session in our office, and then went for 28 later that night.

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  72. LAMary said on January 18, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks for the that, Jim. That’s not the QB I know. I wasn’t sure where Joe was going with that rant.

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  73. Scout said on January 19, 2020 at 12:11 am

    So, our semi literate troll is righteously pissed off at how stupid we kanckle loving heathen Demon-crats are. At how completely oblivious we are to the greatness of the god appointed and anointed savior he adores. What I don’t get is why said troll bothers to associate himself with the likes of us. A real mystery, it is.

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  74. ROGirl said on January 19, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Guys, trying to win Joe over with facts doesn’t work, and snarky personal digs, although kinda fun, aren’t helping either.

    Take a deep breath and don’t let the agents of bullshit, lies and chaos pull us down to the bottom.

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  75. alex said on January 19, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Nancy F @ 11:

    In the Sunday edition, they always run a roundup of the the stories getting the top number of hits for the week, and the bedbug story was by far the winner at 8,849 page views. Bedbugs give readers the itch this week touts the headline. The next closest was 5,620 page views for a major drug bust and the next was 3,385 for Zao Burrell, a 20-something convicted of a heinous murder several years ago who now claims he had incompetent counsel and wants a retrial.

    And still no correction as regards the transmissibility of bedbugs between persons. Because facts always ruin a good story?


    There was a time when the “drunken uncle” was considered an anomaly or outlier. Fox News has made drunken uncles out of a fair part of the population and monkey’s uncles out of the rest of us.

    It was somewhat heartening to read this week that the Murdoch heirs, having gotten more than a bit singed in the Australian wildfires, are now demanding that their media empire confront climate change with the seriousness it deserves. While they’re at it, I’d suggest they also stop feeding the creeping authoritarianism that’s all part and parcel of it. If anyone should feel badly about living off of an ill-gotten fortune it’s the Murdochs.

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 19, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    On my most conservative day, I couldn’t vote for Trump; the recent story about his behavior in a top level meeting in the Pentagon’s “Tank” was just a summary of all the trends and behaviors that had me appalled by his candidacy well before it became an imminent threat.

    At risk of irritating most or many, I considered putting Hillary Clinton in a huge risk because she never divorced Bill, and I really think he’s Epsteined up far beyond any fever-dream assumptions about what Hillary has done (which I personally believe is nothing). I accepted that risk for an assortment of reasons which Joe or others might or might not find convincing, but like most Americans, I sorted my risk/reward scenarios and came down in favor of voting for Hillary Clinton in light of a fair amount of counterweight in the House and Senate. I still don’t regret voting for her, but I sincerely hoped she wouldn’t run again . . . yet I didn’t anticipate the DNC trying to replicate the worst features of the Republican primary journey of 2016. If it ends up in a weird Bizzaro-world parallel of putting Bloomberg on the ballot, well . . . as Vonnegut would say, “and so it goes.”

    But why does Joe still read here and comment? Not to speak for him, but look: we don’t all agree. The general tone is in a fairly narrow zone, and if you’re not in that zone, you’re not likely to comment. Much. But in general, this is an interesting place filled with lively thought and interesting insights even when you don’t agree. I’m fairly sure there are a hatful of folks far more progressive that the main channel of commentary here, who read and mull and lurk and occasionally post.

    There was a comic on Facebook I wish I could figure out how to post here, but it was two people, with a distant eavesdropper, meeting and saying they’d seen the new Star Wars, and one said they loved it, the other they hated it, and the third figure started to smile wickedly. Then one said “I can see why you might feel that way” and the other “I’m glad it brought you joy, anyhow” and the onlooker ran over in horror shouting “that’s not how you do it!”

    I understand that much of what we debate around Trump’s stewardship of the office is far more consequential than a movie franchise, and often involves matters of literally life and death. So it gets intense. But I value the broad humanity and humanism of this group, and will continue to read even if the day’s or hour’s topic veers off of where I’m willing to sail. What I hope people on any angle of the ongoing social media debates remember is that there are lots of so-called experts and talking heads and commentators and pundits who are just mouthpieces for “organizations” that are at bottom fundraising operations working their mailing lists, and it’s panic, anger, and fear which open up the most wallets. FoxNews didn’t start it, Viguerie did, but Ailes made it a mechanism of endless anxiety production . . . and half of my ministry work these days is calming older folks over the worries they have which are mostly untrue and ginned up to keep them sending checks. Social media lowered the bar of entry to the game, and now anyone can play.

    Or as wiser heads than I have said many times: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

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  77. Deborah said on January 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    I wrote a response to ROgirl, respectfully disagreeing with her comment about responding to trolls. I realize it does no good to be snarky and smug but not responding with facts and fair debate is maybe just as unhelpful. How many times do we let strawdog and ad hominem arguments go unchallenged. It’s getting really old.

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  78. brian stouder said on January 19, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    My dad used to counsel my (4) brothers and I to “be skeptical, but not cynical” – and this approach has held up well.

    And indeed, President Truman’s saying – “The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.” is definitely holding up quite well.

    That book about the impeachment of Andy Johnson by Brenda Wineapple – “The Impeachers” – has been pretty much a godsend, providing perspective and enlightenment. I say this (again!) – because just the other day, noted TeeVee lawyer Al Dershowitz

    argued that even if all of the facts presented by Democrats are true, Trump’s actions still do not constitute impeachable offenses — regardless of whether one believes Trump’s dealings with Ukraine were “wrong.”
    “If the allegations are not impeachable, then this trial should result in an acquittal, regardless of whether the conduct is regarded as okay by you or by me or by voters,” he said on “This Week.” “That’s an issue for the voters.”


    Granted – I ain’t a lawyer; but this exact argument was made in the Johnson impeachment, and was answered back by Representative George S Boutwell of Massachusetts. As Wineapple puts it (on page 229 of her book):

    George Boutwell stood, his hands trembling but his argument steady. By the term “high crimes and misdemeanors”, the Constitution did not only mean an actual violation of federal law. Rather, a civil officer, even a President, might be removed from office if, for example, he violated a civil law in one state that was not applicable in another. “Practically it would be found impossible to anticipate by specific legislation all cases of misconduct in the career of criminal men,” Boutwell argued. Since that would be unreasonable, the Founders used the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” precisely and in accordance with the rule of reason, which lay at the foundation of English common law.
    Boutwell then cited such opinions as those offered by Alexander Hamilton in the
    Federalist Papers, number 65, where Hamilton said that impeachment should result from the misconduct of public men or abuse of the public trust. That is, impeachment did not depend solely on an indictable offense per se. “At the present moment,” Boutwell explained, “we have no law which declares that it shall be a high crime or misdemeanor for the President to decline to recognize the Congress of the United States, and yet should he deny its lawful and Constitutional existence and authority, and thus virtually dissolve the Government, would the House and Senate be impotent and unable to proceed by process of impeachment to secure his removal from office?”

    It was a good question.

    Ms Wineapple’s book has been pretty much medicinal for me, these darkening winter days

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