I spent the day trying not to think about the Iowa caucuses, other than what you guys were saying in the comments. Honestly, what would the point be. And now the results are in and I’m not sure what to think, other than WHOA MAYOR PETE. On the other hand, my current-events alternative is the State of the Union, and I tried, I really did. Lasted 45 seconds.
The 45 seconds I caught featured the line, “The years of economic decay are over.” It imperils the health of my TV, so I’m out.
A better alternative: The joy of cooking naked, a real story in the New York Times:
It’s one of those jokes people can’t help but make about nudists, and to Ms. McMullen, who has been cooking naked for more than two decades, it shows how misunderstood nudism is. Many people think only about the pitfalls — spattering fat, minor burns — and not the benefits.
“Embracing the nudist lifestyle has given me permission to feel my feelings,” she said one morning as she sautéed bell peppers while wearing nothing but a glittery manicure in her home kitchen at the Lake Como Family Nudist Resort in Lutz, about 20 miles north of Tampa. She lives here with her husband, Jayson McMullen.
“But if you want to know the truth,” she added with a resigned sigh, “I buy precooked bacon, and I microwave it on a paper towel.”
The pictures alone are worth one of your clicks.
Nudists v. SOTU? No contest.
LAMary said on February 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm
Trump just gave Rush Limbaugh the presidential medal of freedom.
Suzanne said on February 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm
We are full blown authoritarian now. Full blown. There is no going back.
alex said on February 4, 2020 at 10:58 pm
I must have blown through the clicks on my home computer so will have to enjoy the nudists while I’m at work.
I made the mistake of watching the speech and the rebuttal and came away horrified at how much better Trump is in front of a teleprompter than Gretchen Whitmer. Who wrote her speech? Ack. I get why people gravitate toward Trump. Even though he’s lying like a rug he comes across as authentic in a way that most career politicians do not. And God what a load of bullshit he was peddling tonight.
Heather said on February 4, 2020 at 11:03 pm
It’s gonna get way worse, everyone. Sarah Kendzior has been the Cassandra predicting all of this on Twitter.
alex said on February 4, 2020 at 11:22 pm
I should add that I was visiting my parents earlier while my partner installed a new toilet in their main bath. (Dresden blue, to match the tub and sinks in the immaculate 1950s room with its Danish blond cabinetry and slate floor. Only one manufacturer still makes such fixtures, and also offers Venetian pink and Dutch yellow from the same era.)
Anyhoo, my dad, a WWII Hungarian refugee, now 92 years old, had been dismissive earlier about comparisons of Hitler to Trump, but now has begun reflecting on how very much things are unfolding here right now just like they did there in the 1930s. I hate to give in to pessimism but our media are failing us even worse than our Senate.
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 1:14 am
I thought this was an interesting Twitter thread by a journalist about being rudely insulted and threatened https://mobile.twitter.com/ACShilton/status/1224493316336705537 there’s more by the journalist mixed in with reply comments. I was wondering if the many journalist folks on nn.c feel this way sometimes.
I found the linked thread on Sarah Kendzior’s Twitter feed. Thanks Heather for reminding me to look her up again. I’ve tried listening to her Gaslit Nation podcasts but find it difficult to access online for some reason.
I was determined not to read anything until tomorrow morning about the SOTU that I didn’t watch, but it’s hard to avoid. I can’t get to sleep now.
Dexter Friend said on February 5, 2020 at 3:22 am
I vented about Iowa and the SOTU on Facebook today and tonight. Iowa’s problems may have finally killed the caucus system, but I sort of doubt it. I really like Bernie but also am excited about Mayor Pete’s standing right now. I break tradition by following a few baseball and football teams and I don’t have to loyally devote myself to just one politician, who cares anyway. But I only have just the one woman and Premier League football (soccer) team.
My nephew’s wife Becky was in Iowa caucusing as an “Unofficial Observer” the past 4 days before going back home to Chicago today. She’s a tireless worker for Pete and has organized visits to Chicago venues for him at least three times so far. I thought only Iowa residents could caucus , hence Becky’s role as only an observer; I don’t know exactly what she did out there.
Biden is in trouble. Bernie will surely win NH, then Nevada will be tight, a close call, and now if Biden doesn’t overwhelm in Nevada, and limps into SC and people lose confidence in him, and he loses to Warren perhaps (but not likely) , he may drop out early, that night. It seems far-fetched, I know, but the experts on TV are saying it could happen.
I got upset when Trump began his campaign with the worst SOTU ever. I counted a dozen lies in the first few minutes and it got worse. Then he had the sex worker clasp a medal around Limbaugh’s neck. Limbaugh acted surprised when the whole nation knew he was getting this award from Trump, as it was everywhere on every media source hours before.
Suzanne said on February 5, 2020 at 6:11 am
I have been following Sarah Kendzior, too, for the past few years. She has been correct about nearly everything so far which is why I am utterly crushed and despondent by now. It is over. It’s no longer a question of if Trump & the GOP will go full blown authoritarian. They have. The deed is done. Mueller didn’t stop it, impeachment didn’t stop it, the ,media doesn’t get it, the election won’t stop it. Thousands in the street might have an effect but at this point, I doubt even that.
I truly believe we are now early Third Reich territory.
Heather said on February 5, 2020 at 8:41 am
I fear you are right, Suzanne. It’s ridiculous that we apparently have to relearn a lesson that is still (albeit barely) within living memory.
On the other hand, to rephrase a tweet I saw recently, the U.S. has always been a white supremacist country. It’s just that the veil has been torn off. Is it better to lance the boil than continue to let it fester? Either way, a lot of people are going to suffer. I have never felt so viscerally that the people in power don’t care if I die, as long as they can continue to reap the profits of their position. But I think people who aren’t white have felt this way for a long time, probably for all of U.S. history.
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 9:11 am
One of the many depressing and horrifying things about the third reich was that Hitler exploited what many of the German people already wanted before he came to power. If you watch Leni Riefenstahl’s movie, Triumph of the Will (which I couldn’t stomach watching all the way through) it’s shocking to see the multitudes lining the streets glorifying one of the most evil men in the history of the world. Those people didn’t need much coaxing to participate in his atrocities, they were already there. What you see now here with senators and citizens sycophantically embracing and coddling a despot, it’s not that different. The red hats aren’t that far removed from the brown shirts. Terrifying.
Dorothy said on February 5, 2020 at 9:13 am
Well I’m going to take the low road and comment on the cooking naked article. I read it yesterday (I get a complimentary subscription through work) and I came away thinking why do you think you have to be naked to have permission to feel your feelings? That’s the dippiest sentence I think I’ve read in a month of Sundays.
Who else here is a fan of Schitt’s Creek? I’m binging it on Netflix and just two nights ago realized that new episodes are carried on a channel we get in our cable package. Which means I can also watch the old ones on demand as opposed to Netflix. Catherine O’Hara is her brilliant self, but Lord almighty do I love Dan Levy now! And Annie Murphy. The ensemble cast is just perfect. I cry just a little less than I laugh.
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 9:44 am
Oh yes Dorothy, LB introduced me to Schitt’s creek when I got to NM in early January and we’ve been binge watching it too. I love, love, love Catherine O’Hara. And I know someone in Chicago who has that exact pretentious, phony accent, it cracks me up. I do get tired of the Alexis character though, however both Levy’s are fantastic.
Jeff Borden said on February 5, 2020 at 9:47 am
When christian zealots used to fulminate about how the U.S. was going the way of ancient Rome, I’d smile and think, “Cool. We have another 750 years to go.” But. . .we don’t. The collapse is happening all around us at an increasingly rapid pace. Now, there are stories about tRump compiling a rapidly growing list of enemies resulting from the impeachment effort, which we know he will seek to hurt and destroy. As bad as he’s been, his “acquittal” will increase the awfulness geometrically. And if he is “reelected,” we are well and truly fucked. He will have nothing to fear. . .and that scares the shit out of me.
susan said on February 5, 2020 at 10:37 am
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her body guards. True fact.
Mark P said on February 5, 2020 at 10:40 am
I have been trying to avoid feelings of schadenfreude about Rush Limbaugh’s cancer diagnosis, but his receiving the Medal of Freedom is making that really hard. I keep thinking how good it would be for the country if a few other people contracted terminal illnesses. How awful of me.
I have had bad feelings about the future of the country for a while. If we really do follow the path of Nazi Germany, we have years of bad times ahead. I have also thought for some time that this country needs to be defeated soundly and thoroughly in a war. That’s what it took to bring Germany out of the dark.
TGF said on February 5, 2020 at 10:44 am
Who else here is currently working on one or more campaigns? Local, county, state, national? Primary, general, judicial?
It’s beyond time for all-hands-on-deck.
Jeff Borden said on February 5, 2020 at 10:45 am
I was raised not to take pleasure in the suffering of others or to wish for bad things to happen to others. But I’ve also found myself going into a dark place about tRump. A massive coronary. . .a brain aneurism. . .a stroke. . .something that would take him out. I’ve no illusions Mike Dense would be an improvement, but he lacks the demagogic charisma of tRump and the feral ability to bring out the animal within the tRumpista. If the Orange King is reelected, our nation will be unrecognizable. It’s already well on the way.
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 11:31 am
TGF, I would love to get involved in a campaign. How does one go about doing that? Do you just show up at headquarters? I am a designer, I could help prepare visual messaging.
I once tried to get involved in the campaign of a Green Party candidate in St. Louis many moons ago, by designing a bumper sticker for them, gratis of course. The dumb director of the local party told me that white text on a green background was illegible. Um, have you ever seen highway signs and do you know how many tests were done to determine the best combination of colors for legibility by people in moving vehicles. And this was the GREEN party for heaven’s sake. That was discouraging, I dropped out after that and other incompetences. I don’t want to be a Prima Donna but I am an expert in some areas, if I do say so myself.
Suzanne said on February 5, 2020 at 11:55 am
This comment from the WaPo today sums it up:
The late Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), the acclaimed German journalist who wrote the memoir “Defying Hitler,” said the following of himself in 1933 (p. 104): “That the Nazis were enemies, my enemies and the enemies of all I held dear, was crystal clear to me from the outset. What was not at all clear to me was what terrible enemies they would turn out to be. I was inclined not to take them very seriously—-a common attitude among their inexperienced opponents, which helped them a lot, and still helps them. // There are few things as comic as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. It was, after all, a movement with the declared intention of doing away with us. Perhaps the only comparably comic thing is the way that now, years later, Europe is permitting itself exactly the same indifferent attitude, as though it were a superior, amused onlooker, while the Nazis are already setting it alight at all four corners.”
Sherri said on February 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm
TGF, I’m just coming off involvement to varying degrees in three local campaigns. I was the most heavily involved in the campaign for mayor; I urged the candidate to run and was the candidate’s closest advisor, and served as her surrogate at events she couldn’t attend. I was also an advisor, donor, fundraising host, to two women running for city council. All were elected and are now serving.
My Congress member is Suzan Del Bene, who is unlikely to face serious opposition, but the neighboring district is represented by first term member Kim Schrier, who flipped that district last time. I’ve already maxed out to support her.
There’s a young woman running for legislature outside of my district whom I will be supporting: https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2019/10/21/ex-inmate-tarra-simmons-announces-run-23rd-district-seat/4056525002/
Deborah, if you want to use your design skills for a campaign, as opposed to phone banking or canvassing, I’d suggest getting involved with a local campaign. Get to know the people involved, let them get to know you, so that they can see that you’re not a flake and know what you’re talking about. Any larger campaign is going to hire out design work.
Peter said on February 5, 2020 at 2:46 pm
In the why do I get up in the morning category; I just read that Romney will vote to convict Trump, which will make him the FIRST senator in US history to convict a president of his own party.
I know there wasn’t a chance Trump would be tossed from office, and I know that it’s important to stick to your principles even though it could be a lost cause, but boy this is depressing.
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 3:37 pm
This is making the rounds on the internet, by George Conway (I know, I know) but this is good https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/05/george-conway-trump-i-believe/
Yes Sherri, I want to get involved in a local campaign, I realize that national and statewide campaigns hire out for design, I’d have to show them that I’ve had experience doing visual communication for a political campaign which I haven’t.
Suzanne said on February 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm
Good old Jim Banks, my Rep, has already been on Twitter saying idiotic things like this:
“ The same Democrats applauding Mitt Romney’s conscience won’t let nuns who don’t want to pay for abortions off the hook.”
“ After his announcement, we learn Mitt Romney queued up a television interview and a magazine article – he is trying to inflict maximum damage on @realDonaldTrump. It’s hard to argue that this decision was born out of anything other than personal animosity towards POTUS.”
I cannot overstate how stupid this guy is. Great look for NE Indiana. It’s why, when we travel & mention that we are from IN, we get comments in the vein of “what the heck is wrong with people there?”
Deborah said on February 5, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Good for Romney.
TGF said on February 5, 2020 at 5:56 pm
@Deborah 18 — As Suzanne indicated, if you want to share design skills, look at local efforts.
Your county-level party website should have info on area party “clubs”. These are organized at village/ town/ township levels. They are VERY grassroots and act as feeders to county-level action. One of the common activities in local clubs is mass-mailing postcards on behalf of a candidate or issue. If you offered to do design for a number of races in the up-coming primary, your effort would likely be noticed higher up the food chain — where your talent could have impact in a larger race during the general election.
Attending your local club meetings is a great way to get to know the candidates and develop a personal familiarity that adds depth to your advocacy.
When working for a candidate or issue, one-to-one conversations with voters are THE most effective tool for getting folks to fully adopt support for a candidate and to VOTE. If you can’t do the walking to knock doors (best), then phone-banking or working tables at events is next best (Memorial Day parades, 4th of July, Labor Day…)
What has changed since I was in high school is that you are no longer at risk of knocking or calling on a strident member of the opposition. The databases everyone is working with can be filtered into subsets of undecided — you will be calling on folks that are wavering or leaning toward your candidate/ party but haven’t committed/ solidified or haven’t voted yet. Once early voting begins, the databases filter out the folks who’ve voted, so your time isn’t wasted calling them (again & again & again).
We have enough voters to win these elections, we just need to get asses out of chairs and to the polls (or the mailbox with an absentee ballot)
One of the candidates I’ll be working for in 2020 is a state rep that upset an incumbent in 2018 — by 56 votes when all the dust settled.
BTW — Loved the white on green readability tale! Word-processing made everybody a writer, typesetter & designer, didn’t it?
Sherri said on February 5, 2020 at 6:29 pm
You don’t have to wait for a campaign to get involved locally. There are decisions being made in your community every day, by your city council, your school board, your county commissioners, that have enormous impact on people’s lives, and mostly those bodies hear from the same people. Are they taking into account how those decisions impact marginalized communities? Are communities of color being heard? Do you know how your local law enforcement deals with people of color, people with substance abuse issues, people in mental health crisis? Do your courts rely on fines and other legal financial obligations to fund their operations? Is order a higher priority than justice? How are decisions made in your community? How is your local government funded, and how does that impact land use decisions?
One thing I’ve observed since 2016 is a lot of people deciding they needed to run for office, any office, without a clear idea of what they wanted to accomplish in that office or even what was possible in that office. I’ve spent a lot of time meeting with new candidates and doing remedial city government.
Jeff Borden said on February 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm
Anyone in the Chicago area who wants to help send our Orange King into permanent retirement can join up with Swing Left, which meets a couple of times per month (at bars! Yay!) to wrote postcards and letters.
TGF said on February 5, 2020 at 7:17 pm
@Sherri 26 — Couldn’t agree more. Have attended at least 80% of city council meetings over the last dozen+ years. One other resident has a longer record. No one else is a regular. (Our city is tiny — ~3 sq miles, ~10K residents, so it’s not any particular burden to attend.)
Hoo boy, are you right about the noobs. Personally, I don’t hold with party-voting at council level in communities our size. Leaving the red/ blue hats at home is a good strategy when your salary for the honor of serving is <$10.00/ month before taxes. We lost a couple of wise, dedicated, long-serving, deep-listening Rs last fall. With them went tremendous institutional wisdom and knowledge of finance & real estate. The noobs waltzed in viewing the city budget as an ATM machine for ideas and projects that are better carried out by community groups. The city manager and administrative staff have some work ahead as the colts learn to pull in a common direction.
As you say, many of these folks have no idea what they want to accomplish, nor what is possible in elected office. I'm afraid that many do not have the temperament for service/ trusteeship, but rather an activist temperament that is better pursued through non-profits, community-organizing, etc.
If they don't master city government 101 pretty quick, I'm afraid many of those seats will be vulnerable at re-election.
Sherri said on February 5, 2020 at 8:10 pm
TGF, if they don’t master city government 101, they’ll grow frustrated and leave.
I had a serious discussion with one of the candidates I supported this last time about the difference between being an activist and being in government, and how once elected, you weren’t on the outside any more and that impacts what you can say and do. Being able to move between activist and insider is a skill and requires awareness and intention. But at least this candidate had a clear idea of what she wanted to do. In a previous cycle, I worked with a candidate who wanted to do something about girls and education and was running for city council. I had to explain to her that city council had no involvement with the school system, which was governed separately. (I worked with her because her opponent was actively bad.)
It’s been a process, but she has learned and is getting better.
TGF said on February 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm
…city council had no involvement with the school system…
If I had a dollar for every time a resident has “told me a question” about what council should do regarding a school issue, I could retire in comfort. 😉
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 6, 2020 at 7:27 am
This is the Kirk Douglas I remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b7fTHmZcJU
Ann said on February 6, 2020 at 8:47 am
I’m late getting to this, but the article about cooking while nude was worth it just for the photo caption, which could be in some kind of reverse caption-contest, “Mr. Clark, an optometrist who spends his weekends at the resort, said he was too shy to host dinner parties before he became a nudist. Now, he does it all the time. “
Andrea said on February 6, 2020 at 9:23 am
I am in Chicago and have begun hosting phone/text banks for Elizabeth Warren in my home, in addition to contributing to candidates. Because of my job, I have to be careful about getting visibly involved in local races as it is harder for people who know me professionally to distinguish between my professional and personal selves. I don’t want there to be any threat to my organization’s nonprofit status.
LAMary said on February 6, 2020 at 10:21 am
RIP Kirk Douglas. He built a playground at our neighborhood elementary school and he and his wife came to this little school to cut the ribbon and be the first down the slide. He was gracious and enjoyed all the kids. I understand he donate 50 million dollars to build playgrounds all over the country.
alex said on February 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm
So the infant-in-chief used the National Prayer Breakfast this morning as an opportunity to air personal vendettas. Lock him up! Lock him up! In a padded cell!
beb said on February 6, 2020 at 1:10 pm
None of the columns I’ve read on Romney’s vote for impeachment mentioned the amount of abuse Romney got from Trump. They keep trying to find some deep meaning to Romney’s action when it really amounts to score-settling.
Jakash said on February 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm
“Get naked.” Hey, I’ve heard of somebody who used to get naked for a living.
“When you pretend to campaign against bullying but give America’s highest civilian honor to one of America’s biggest bullies. #BeBest
When you scold America for slut-shaming you over your porn past, but give America’s highest civilian honor to a man who calls women sluts. #BeBest”
“Reminder of what Mitt Romney *really* thinks of Trump”:
Deborah said on February 6, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Honest to God, Trump’s behavior today has been horrendous, even worse than usual. He got away with it and now we have to live with his immoral pomposity. Lordy, if he gets re-elected, it will be catastrophic.
Deborah said on February 6, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Evil architecture https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/14/story-of-cities-hitler-germania-berlin-nazis?CMP=share_btn_link
Heather said on February 6, 2020 at 4:20 pm
I’ve seen a lot of takes that Romney is like the dad who gets praise for “babysitting.” If he hadn’t waited until the 11th hour to speak out, it might have been a little more impressive–and actually had an effect on the vote.
Julie Robinson said on February 6, 2020 at 4:21 pm
The naked lunch story is hilarious, but I do not need to get naked to be in touch with how I’m feeling, and I wear an apron all the time because I’m a messy cook. Not for me, but whatever floats their boats.
To retain my sanity, I’m not following every detail of every news story; instead I’m devoting more time to helping others. Today that was not-naked cooking. First I made a chicken salad for my mom, trying to reproduce the one she loves so much at Earth Fare (closing soon). It was a big hit. Then I cooked dinner for my husband, which hasn’t been happening at all lately. He will be pleasantly surprised when he comes home tonight!
Sherri said on February 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm
German has so many useful words.
Deborah said on February 6, 2020 at 5:43 pm
I’m going to cut Romney some slack, for voting to convict and for his healthcare plan when he was gov of Massachusetts, which Obamacare was modeled after. He also used to be pro-choice when he was gov, but he changed his tune when he ran for president. By pro-choice, I think he meant something different than I would think of as pro-choice, but at least he didn’t let abortion bans happen.
I just can’t believe how disgusting Trump has been today.
Dexter Friend said on February 6, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Trump has gone rogue and is formatting a vendetta against all his enemies who vote against him from all parties. Today he said outrageous things about Pelosi and Romney at the prayer breakfast and then wasted like 90 minutes singling out the workers who dedicated themselves to The Trump reign recently. Pelosi said today that Trump is still impeached for life and that scar will accompany him to his grave. Here’s an amen now as I wasn’t invited to the prayer breakfast. If you think this is over it isn’t . This summer will be chaotic. Millions want to re-elect this fucking moron and I hope a few more millions want to kick the bastard to the curb.
Suzanne said on February 6, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Is anybody even remotely surprised by Trump’s behavior today? I am not in the least. Will I live to see the impeachment managers arrested? I fully expect to. Who will stop him? No one. You know it, I know it, we all know it.
Some pundit on Twitter asked who parents would rather their kids model their behavior after—Trump or Romney. I laughed. Don’t people still get that for many MAGAs, Trump’s behavior is exactly what they strive for?
We now live in a banana republic which runs on bribery, graft, and corruption. By the impeachment outcome, notice has been given to our allies and enemies alike that doing business with us will depend on how much of an investment you are willing to make in Trump.
beb said on February 6, 2020 at 6:53 pm
I just saw the NBC evening news report on Trump’s Prayer Breakfast. They basically eliminated or downplayed all the viciousness and incoherance in the speech. NBC did a disservice to the nation by not showing how crazy Trump is.
Sherri said on February 6, 2020 at 7:11 pm
It’s turnout, stupid.
This really jibes with my experience with campaigning. There aren’t many swing voters. There are simply voters, sometimes voters, and non-voters. To win, you need to get enough of your sometimes voters interested and engaged enough to actually vote. Trying to appeal to swing voters, or trying to change someone’s mind, is a waste of time and resources.
Brian stouder said on February 6, 2020 at 7:29 pm
TGF – City Council didn’t pull me in, but our local school board certainly did. Gotta credit Trumpet with one bit of insight, which Bob Woodward utilized for the title of his book. Trump said something like “Real power is – fear” …and sending your babies off to school is genuinely Scarey stuff. So, years ago I began attending school board meetings….and found them ENORMOUSLY reassuring. Someday, I may have to run for it, as I cannot imagine a public office more consequential for the everyday lives of my fellow citizens (and our community’s future)…and which would suit my capabilities and experience…..
Deborah said on February 6, 2020 at 7:33 pm
OMG, read this transcript of what Trump said about Scalise and his wife and who knows what else he was talking about https://mobile.twitter.com/ddale8/status/1225568736784080898 This man is our president and the Repulicans are backing this raving lunatic!!!
Brian stouder said on February 6, 2020 at 7:57 pm
Mayor Pete genuinely surprised me. Forget about his spouse; I was thinking he’s too YOUNG…he’d be the youngest President of the United States – by 5 years! – ever!! But – that said – if we cannot elect the first woman president yet, then gimme the young guy from Indiana (as opposed to the old-old-old Bernie or Biden or billionaires….)
David C. said on February 6, 2020 at 8:22 pm
Mittens did well, but I’m tired of the “they tell me in private” nonsense. I hear it from politicians, pundits, and reporters and it’s time for it to stop. If they don’t name names they’re collaborators.