I see you guys have hashed out the Bernie Question in the previous post comments. I have little to add, since no one listens to me and I can’t change history. It’s looking better than ever that he’ll be the nominee, and as I am on record as saying I’ll vote for whoever opposes Trump, up to and including the Exhumed Corpse of Charles Manson (campaign slogan: Not me. Us. Plus whoever wants to hang at the ranch.)

But I am a worrier, and I expect I’ll be worrying up to and through Nov. 3. I have allowed a small crack of optimism to push through, thinking that with the right running mate and messaging, it might be possible to pull off a miracle. If Trump pardons Roger Stone, that won’t help. If there’s an undecided voter left in this stupid country, there’s no way he or she will be swayed by the idea of mercy for that smirking douchebag in his very elegant homburg, or whatever he was wearing over his hair plugs the last time he had his picture taken.

Speaking of which, Mitch Albom phoned in another one this weekend, about pardons. Like his Kobe Bryant tribute, it smelled of a quick Wikipedia scan. And like most of his non-sports columns, it was crafted to not exactly say anything that might actually be an opinion. After noting that “perhaps” it’s time to “rethink” the whole idea of the presidential pardon, he goes way out on that limb and says:

Now, before you scatter to your political corners, know that I say this not because President Donald Trump has used his pardon power largely as a means of rewarding supporters or getting back at enemies, but because other presidents have as well, and more are likely to do so in the future.

No, it’s not because a president is obviously abusing the power of the pardon, it’s because Marc Rich and Barack Obama, who “used his pardon power nearly 2,000 times, more than the previous five presidents combined.” Too bad he didn’t read deeper into that Wikipedia entry, where he might have learned that Obama’s pardons were overwhelmingly weighted to help people who had been convicted of non-violent drug offenses, most of them people of color. Marc Rich I won’t defend, but who’s still upset about that one?

That guy. I can’t waste another minute with him.

Anyway, a very nice weekend here. The sun came out and stayed out, and at the moment it’s quite warm. I’m considering a bike ride. Last night I took myself out on a me-date to the Cat Video Fest 2020. It was a me-date because I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me. Not sure why I wanted to see it; I don’t have a cat, have never had a cat, but cats are cool. My favorite cat videos of all time are the ones collected by a Tumblr blog called Indifferent Cats in Amateur Porn, but I haven’t been able to look at that since Tumblr required an account to look at anything on that platform. Needless to say, none were in the Cat Video Fest. Although Henri was!

Then it was home early, and what the hell, a rewatch of “Up in the Air,” a fine movie that shows off George Clooney’s laugh lines but brought me abruptly back to 2009-ish, when the film subsidies had lots of crews here — no duplicating that flat overcast winter sky. Also, where better to shoot a film about the collapse of the economy than here, where a film crew can get an entire abandoned skyscraper to shoot in? God, what a terrible time that was, and yet. I remember reading about credit swap defaults, then looking out the window to wonder why people weren’t rioting in the street. Then I’d make dinner. I ran across a line in a book review recently, about how we live in multiple timelines simultaneously, with history happening on one level, and what-to-have-for-dinner happening on another. That’s exactly right, and captures the strangeness of living through an era like that. Or like the one we’re in now, for that matter.

What else happened this weekend?

An important lesson was taught: If anyone offers you a ride in their homemade rocket, suddenly remember an urgent appointment.

I think that’s all. Good week ahead to the lot o’ youse.

Posted at 4:52 pm in Current events |

143 responses to “Cats.”

  1. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    I’m on record as an absolute no to Bloomberg. If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll be curious about his VP pick. His biggest stans on Twitter seem to want either Nina Turner or Tulsi Gabbard, which is just nutty and I’m not on board for.

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  2. Brian stouder said on February 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    I’m in total agreement w/Sheri regarding ‘absolute no’ to Bloomburg….it’d be a case of the-devil-we-know (trumpus) versus the devil we don’t…and I’m not for some ‘fresh hell’ of yet another rich-guy/master-of-the-universe POTUS. Aside from that, count me as a confirmed kitty-cat person. Doggies are nice, but labor intensive. Our 2 kitties (Cleo and Winnie) are family members who run their own railroad, for the most part

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  3. Andrea said on February 23, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I had read about that flat-earther “daredevil” earlier today. It strikes me as odd to see his death described as a tragedy. I mean, I guess it is a tragedy to his family and loved ones, but seems to me that the odds must have been pretty darn high that the stunt would end in his death. Suicide by stunt? Dunno.

    I haven’t given up on Warren yet.

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  4. alex said on February 23, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    I’m voting for whomever wins, and trying to remain mindful that Trump and Putin want us to be confused and divided and probably have something to do with the fact that we are.

    Someone earlier mentioned Stacy Abrams as an ideal running mate. I wish she were running herself. She could help bring out the same voters that made the Obama coalition such a powerhouse. I’m sure Biden recognized it and that’s why he made overtures to her, which she rebuffed. Kamala is kind of guarded and phony like an old school pol and that’s what sunk her candidacy — and surely didn’t help Hillary’s — whereas Stacy has the kind of spontaneity and authenticity that people crave.

    Trying to feel the Bern. Really I am. All I’m getting is angina.

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  5. Mark P said on February 23, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Did you see the reports of a new poll that shows most voters expect Trump to win? Where’s the hemlock when you need it?

    Alex, Abrams is something. She damned near won the Georgia gubernatorial race against the Secretary of State, who ran the damned election his own damned self. He’s the good Christian who ran an ad in which he threatened to shoot a boy who wanted to date his daughter. But it was only a joke, you know, with a gun in his lap.

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  6. Deborah said on February 23, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    I remember exactly when I became mesmerized about Obama, it was shortly after we’d moved to Chicago and he was running for the senate. I feel that way about Stacy Abrams, she has what it takes. I think she has a road ahead of her that is broad, I wish the best for her, I hope we all can help make it happen for her.

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  7. beb said on February 24, 2020 at 1:11 am

    I’m still all-in for Elizabeth Warren. She less strident than Bernie, knows how to work congress to get laws passed. And is easily the smartest person in room without acting like she is.

    Buttigreig, I think, benefits from being the only young person campaigning. Bernie, Biden and Bloomberg are all so old that I don’t think any of them would live to run for a second time. If any of them get the nomination they need — no, must — pick as a running mate someone young and capable enough to become president. Stacy Adams would be a good choice but there are others equally qualified.

    As historians constantly try to remind people, most people already knew the world was round before Columbus. There are any number of proofs, starting with the way tall ships sink into the horizon, to Eratosthenes, who not only deduced that the world was round but calculated the size of the earth. These FlatEarthers quite simply can’t believe the evidence of their own eyes. It’s hard to feel sorry for them.

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  8. ROGirl said on February 24, 2020 at 5:07 am

    Alex, I had the same thought regarding Stacy Abrams: she could be a transformational presidential candidate.

    If Bernie ends up being the nominee, I suppose I will hold my nose to vote for him, but how many people won’t go through with it? Between him and Joe Biden I can’t muster up any enthusiasm.

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  9. alex said on February 24, 2020 at 7:02 am

    If it makes anyone feel better, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo notes that Bernie has trounced Trump in every poll that’s been conducted in the last year.

    Some months ago I saw some pretty good arguments in favor of Bernie, not least of which is that he is galvanizing younger voters who didn’t turn out for Hillary but turned out for Obama. Remember, she had just shy of 63 million votes to Obama’s 69.5 million. Hillary also didn’t have the same black turnout as Obama, but a running mate like Stacy Abrams could help turn that around. Of course, it remains to be seen whether moderates will support Bernie, and that’s what’s generating so much alarm. And alarmism.

    I remember talking with my elderly dad about this. He thinks Bernie would be an acceptable president but he believes most people are too stupid to know the difference between Bolshevism and socialism and that this conflation has been so baked into the American consciousness by the Cold War years that it simply cannot be undone and that the socialist label would be too great a taint for Bernie to overcome.

    I’m not so sure. Other than Trump supporters, surely most Democrats are smart enough to know the difference between Denmark and Venezuela and aren’t susceptible to the GOP’s scaremongering. At least I’d like to think so. And the Dem electorate has never been more motivated as demonstrated by the midterm turnout which far exceeded expectations.

    FDR said we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Something to consider at another frightening juncture in our history.

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  10. TGF said on February 24, 2020 at 7:35 am

    In case this item from Ohio hasn’t crossed your desks —

    As for pres, I favor Amy Klobuchar. I think Buttigieg could do more for repairing politics and the country by taking a Senate seat in Indiana for a while. Bernie’s such an easy target for the Trussians running the R party… ‘fraid we’ll lose that one.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Alex, your Dad is correct about labels, nevermind that we already live in a country many socialist programs. And the orange one has already called Bernie communist, so you know his campaign strategy already.

    TGF, Buttigieg isn’t going to be elected to any state-wide office here in homophobic Hoosier land. Sad but true.

    My heart is still with Warren even as I don’t see a path forward for her. Her platform isn’t that different from Bernie’s, his manner is also scolding, he’s even older than her. So why is his shtick working while hers is failing? I can only conclude it’s because she’s a woman.

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  12. Suzanne said on February 24, 2020 at 8:24 am

    I will vote for whoever the Dem candidate is, although I’d hope it is Warren or Klobuchar. Young people do like Bernie and if he’s the nominee, I will vote for him, but all I can think is that it will bring us another 4 years of an old man yelling at everybody. I fear he is too much like the Tea Party Republicans; good at complaining what it wrong with everything but when given the chance to fix it, have no clue what to do except blow everything up.

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  13. alex said on February 24, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Julie beat me to it, but it’s true. The kinds of candidates who can get elected in the urban areas of Indiana in municipal elections don’t otherwise stand a chance in a state that elects people like Mike Pence as governor, not to mention the morons who get chosen to represent us in Congress.

    If Mayor Pete wants a future in politics he probably ought to relocate to a blue state.

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  14. 4dbirds said on February 24, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Alex, thanks for that snippet about your dad. My mom and dad, two farm kids from Missouri would also know the difference between Bolshevism and socialism. Conservatives sure have managed to dumb down our schools.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Read somewhere yesterday that Bill Clinton didn’t win a primary until Super Tuesday, so perhaps Elizabeth Warren still has a chance. A lot has changed since 1992, though, not least the enormous amounts of campaign cash flowing through our electoral system.

    Bernie did well with Hispanics in Nevada. I’ve not seen a readout on his black support, but he’d better have it. Dems cannot win without a huge African-American turnout.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Oh boy. The Orange King makes new friends everywhere he goes.

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  17. Heather said on February 24, 2020 at 10:47 am

    A friend in New York sent me a link to a group called Illinois Women for Mike. Uh, no thank you.

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  18. Deborah said on February 24, 2020 at 11:37 am

    My 100 year old Mother in Law was a life long republican until her husband died in 1984, then she started slowly voting for Democrats. She loved Obama and loathes Trump. The husband of one of her best friends at her retirement home worked for Carter and the three of them claim to be the only Democrats there among all the other residents in the home in Charlotte, NC. My Mother in Law is from the Midwest, and lived in Florida when her husband retired she only lives in Charlotte since her youngest daughter moved there to be near her children.

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  19. Jakash said on February 24, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Lot to chew on in your comment @ 9, Alex. The polls don’t make me feel much better, because, as Marshall himself then notes: “Sanders has simply never faced a concerted negative campaign.”

    I kinda blame Obama for not making it clear enough to all the folks who voted for him that electing Hillary was just as important as electing him had been. I don’t know what else he could’ve done, but those numbers you cite are disappointing.

    I don’t understand why the socialist label is such a terrible taint, yet the patriotic Republicans don’t care at all that the Russians tampered with our democratic process last time and are doing it again. (Well, the fact that it’s been in service of their stooge is certainly one reason, of course.)

    “most Democrats are smart enough” This I truly question, depending on the definition of “most.” If enough Democrats were smart enough to realize that the Supreme Court was reason enough to vote for Hillary last time, we wouldn’t be in this mess. We like to think that Democrats are smart and a lot of Republicans are dumb. But the one thing the Rs have figured out is that they need to vote for the guy with the R next to his name when they get the chance.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on February 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Who else is rejoicing at Harvey Weinstein’s convictions? They didn’t convict on everything; hopefully enough to put him away for life. Brava to all the women who came forward despite the enduring trauma.

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on February 24, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I don’t know why so many people think Bernie is inevitable. It’s just three states so far.

    Although I will say one thing about Biden: If “electability” is supposed to be his strongest appeal, it would help a lot if he actually, you know, won an election.

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  22. Jakash said on February 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Well, this 32-second TikTok is making the rounds on Twitter. A concise portrayal of Elizabeth Warren at the Nevada debate. Uh, NSFW language.

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  23. Peter said on February 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    I’m going to have to finally do some research and find the article, but I remember reading something +/- six years ago about Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto (and whose brother is now PM of Ontario).

    The guy was, to put it charitably, a buffoon. Chris Farley must have been rolling in his grave because he could have done a perfect imitation without breaking a sweat. Ford would just run a chaotic administration while making fun of his opponents all day long.

    How did he get elected, then? According to the article, it was deceptive – the voter turnout for his election wasn’t far off compared to other recent elections. However, further analysis showed that Ford’s routine brought out a lot of people who rarely voted in elections, because he “told it like it is” and “sticks it to the elite”. And his constant insults and character assaults made a lot of regular voters stay home – they were disgusted with him AND the election in general and just stayed home – and it got him elected.

    Let’s hope history repeats itself, because while Ford stepped up his vitriol, he narrowly lost re-election, and died a few months later.

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  24. Deborah said on February 24, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    I read on Twitter yesterday that someone said (sorry I forget who) that socialism to boomers means gulags and bad shoes and to millennials it means Swedish healthcare and free education. As a boomer I personally don’t see socialism as a bad thing, but I worry (as I’ve said here many times) that a lot (most?) of boomers don’t agree with me, and that millennials haven’t voted in numbers that will be needed to beat Trump. Since I’ve retired I’m not around very many millennials anymore so I don’t have anecdotal information about what they’re doing about getting out their vote.

    Weinstein: may he get many, many years in prison!

    Added in edit, I suppose this means Trump will now pardon Weinstein too.

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  25. Maria said on February 24, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Sherri in earlier posts has reminded me that I need to get involved in local elections where my support can make a difference, even in a small way. My husband and I live in Northern Virginia, the bluest part of the state, and our Democratic candidates won easily. So in 2018 we gave money to a downstate Democratic candidate who wasn’t perfect but a million times better than her opponent. She won, and we plan to give money again because she’s in a red district, and it will be a tight race. My husband wants to give to Democratic candidates in other Senate state races (think Maine, Alabama, and Kentucky).
    We need to win the Congress to get anything done.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    It’s not so much Bernie’s embrace of socialism that is a problem, but all the footage and audiotape of some of his more outrageous statements when he was much younger. The Vichy GOP will have zero qualms throwing that shit at him to keep their Orange King in office.

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  27. St Bitch said on February 24, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    As a Boomer, Socialism means Social Security and Medicare. Thank you OG Socialist FDR!

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  28. St Bitch said on February 24, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Speaking of OG Socialist FDR (Alex @9) – thanks for Social Security and Medicare.

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  29. 4dbirds said on February 24, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Maria, I live in Sterling, VA. Who did you donate to? I’d like to send some gelt to deserving dems.

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  30. St Bitch said on February 24, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Just sayin…the Socialism that’s already baked into our democracy is considered to be a universal right.

    As a Boomer, I got mine…would like to see that expanded to as many other citizens as possible.

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  31. Dave said on February 24, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    The problem is, people hear the word socialism and immediately think of communism and then, of course, many want to bring up Venezuela and shout, see, that’s what happens under socialism. Reading remarks, always a mistake, you see this argument over and over. If Bernie’s the nominee, you can already hear what Trump will do with that in his wide-ranging, truth deficient remarks that pass for speeches.

    Our son lives in Ashburn near the One Loudoun center, 4dbirds, right next door.

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  32. Bitter Scribe said on February 24, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Deborah: Don’t worry. Even if Trump wanted to pardon Weinstein, he couldn’t, because he can only pardon for federal offenses. Weinstein was convicted on state charges.

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  33. St Bitch said on February 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    As of this afternoon, Sanders has just squeaked past Biden in the South Carolina primary forecast.

    So far, left-wing baggage doesn’t seem to be slowing him down.

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  34. Maria said on February 24, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Hi, 4dbirds. My candidate was Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th district. It’s mostly in the central part of the state and has been reliably Republican for decades. She won mostly because of the cities and the Richmond suburbs. It was a narrow win, and I’m worried that she may not make it this time around. She’s smart, works hard to represent the interests of her constituents, and is a huge improvement on the Republicans who have held that seat. Just look up Dave Brat, the guy she beat.

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  35. Jakash said on February 24, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Dave Brat now being “the dean of the Liberty University School of Business,” is a little on the nose, is it not? But I think it would be handy if all the Republican annoying, spoiled, impolite children self-identified themselves like that — Donald Brat, Mitch Brat, Bret Brat, etc.

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  36. Peter said on February 24, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Dave Brat is the dean of the Liberty University School of Business? What, Jim Bakker or Ernest Ainsley’s too busy?

    WAY off on a tangent – I found out two items today about our President’s most favorite congressman, Adam Schiff:

    – his wife’s name is Eve
    – his license plate frame says “I don’t roll on Shabbos”

    It made my day.

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  37. alex said on February 24, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    David Brat is the scumbag who ran to the right of that worm Eric Cantor and managed to unseat him as Majority Leader. And Cantor’s somewhere to the right of Mussolini. Icky people.

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  38. Suzanne said on February 24, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    I went back and reread the whole post and discovered that I had missed the shout out to Henri, Le Chat Noir.
    Now, I will spend the rest of the evening rewatching Henri’s videos with his feline ennui and his aversion to the white idiot.

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  39. Deborah said on February 24, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Bitter Scribe, thank goodness it’s a state charge for Weinstein.

    Peter, that’s so cute about Adam and Eve.

    So maybe Sanders has made some problematic statements about Castro 30 years ago. How many positive statements has Trump made about his favorite dictators 30 minutes ago?

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  40. jim said on February 24, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Well. I was inspired to look at the Liberty University School of Business faculty and administration.

    Brat has a Ph.D. in Economics. He is the ONLY one shown who could be hired in our School of Business based on academic credentials.

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  41. Scout said on February 24, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Sanders doubled down on his praise for Castro yesterday.

    Is anyone besides me rolling their eyes at the way the media is already declaring the race over just because Bernie won a couple of caucuses? Sigh. The next 9 months are going to be the longest decade ever.

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  42. St Bitch said on February 24, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    A few hours after I posted that Bernie nudged ahead in South Carolina, Biden took a flying leap and now has a substantial lead in the (FiveThirtyEight aggregate) polls.

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  43. Deborah said on February 24, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Jennifer Rubin (yes a Republican never Trumper, I know, I know) says this about Sanders choosing Stacy Abrams or Kamala Harris as his running mate “black women are not condiments”, and that’s a fair assessment.

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  44. alex said on February 24, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    They are when Sanders is the main course.

    He really needs to STFU about Castro or he can probably kiss his lead goodbye. (And that would be a good thing except who would take his place except Biden?)

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  45. Jakash said on February 25, 2020 at 1:07 am

    A pizza / health insurance analogy:

    COMPANY: we sell pizza
    ME: ok i paid. can I eat?
    CO: no that’s a premium u pay to access pizza
    CO: there’s a co-pay per slice
    ME: but that’s it?
    CO: well some pizza is more until your deductible
    ME: I need to eat
    CO: whoops it’ll be $7000 this parlor is out of network

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  46. Suzanne said on February 25, 2020 at 10:40 am

    I agree with this thread

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  47. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2020 at 10:41 am


    You may be interested (and appalled) to learn that Liberty University’s School of Government is named for that rascally old racist from Nawth Calina, Jesse Helms. As one of the older visitors to NN.C, I recall when Jerry Falwell Sr. stood with the apartheid government of South Africa while bashing Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, who also were pilloried by Helms. Ahh, good times, good times.

    The Orange King is now calling for Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor to recuse themselves from any decisions relating to his administration or policies because they are “biased.” Meanwhile, Ginni Thomas, right-wing activist wife of Silent Clarence, is among those leading the effort to locate and remove government officials who are not sufficiently loyal to our Fearless Leader.

    These fucking people. . .

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  48. Sherri said on February 25, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I wish BernieBros would figure out who the enemies really are.

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  49. Sherri said on February 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    The creator of the term “intersectionality”, Kimberle Crenshaw, on what it means today:

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  50. Peter said on February 25, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Jeff, I’m interested, and appalled, but I’M NOT SURPRISED!

    Jesse Helms? Wow, with all of the filth in DC these days, how could I forget that sack of crap? It just goes to show that no matter how bad you think someone like Moscow Mitch is, there’s always someone worse. Kind of makes you proud to be an American.

    Deborah, you are so right about Bernie, Trump, and dictators. It really drives me to drink when someone in the Fox Sphere complains about ANY of the Democratic candidates. It’s a great parlor game – try it sometime. Think of ANY negative of ANY candidate – Bernie: loves dictators; Warren: too old; Biden: Doting; Buttigieg: no experience; Bloomberg: sexist twerp; Klobuchar: whiny (that’s the best I could think of on short notice), and ALL of them PALE before Trump. Talk about the mote in your eye.


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  51. Sherri said on February 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Meanwhile, the real world continues to spin. I mentioned I had a friend who was dying. She has chosen to die this evening, taking advantage of Washington’s Death With Dignity law. The pain has become too much, and she is done. I’m grateful she lives here and has that option.

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  52. Scout said on February 25, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Deborah @ 43: I follow Jennifer Rubin on Twitter because she has many very good takes on Fat Hitler, and about the Dem candidates in general. But lately she’s been a bit off, especially regarding Warren’s NV debate strategy. And while I agree black women like Harris and Abrams are not ‘condiments’, either one of those women as Bernie’s running mate would make all the difference in the world for me (and many people who support other candidates) to be able to get more enthusiastically behind his campaign should he win the nomination. Because at the moment, all I can picture is casting my vote against trump for bernie because he’s the lesser of two evils. If he chooses Tulsi or Nina Turner, I will be very dispirited and I know I am not alone.

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  53. Deborah said on February 25, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Sherri, I’m sorry to hear about your friend, but how wonderful that she can have her own death her way. I thought New Mexico had that law too, but alas they don’t so if I’m ever in that situation I hope things have changed by then.

    My mother-in-law is not doing well at all, she is very confused now. She doesn’t know where she is, she keeps calling my husband’s brother by my husband’s name, she thought my husband when he was there with her, was her brother. Her foot and leg are swelling and they suspect she might have a blood clot, she was scheduled for an MRI today, but she has a “do not resuscitate” order, so I’m not sure what that means if they do find a clot. Her children want her to be able to die peacefully and painlessly before things go completely wrong. My brother-in-law thought she was going to die last night, and was silently hoping that she would and be spared any more suffering.

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  54. Deborah said on February 25, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Latest report from my husband’s brother who is with their mother for a few more days, is that she had a much better day today, no word about the leg swelling so that’s a mystery. One day at a time.

    Totally off topic, but will someone explain to me how Ivanka’s hair grows so fast? She had a bob just a few months ago and the photos of her in India show her hair to be past shoulder length already? Are they extensions? Normally hair grows about 1/2 inch per month. Has more time elapsed since the bob than I’m remembering?

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  55. St Bitch said on February 25, 2020 at 5:31 pm


    Been through the “do not resuscitate” scenario several times with Mom. Let’s say your mother-in-law needs a life-threatening blood clot removed; approval for the procedure is given by next-of-kin/power-of-attorney-holder; and her vital signs begin to fail as a consequence. Her doctors will do everything to keep her alive, short of extreme measures, such as sticking tubes down her throat or chest compressions that would certainly break 100-year-old ribs. Basically – pull the plug on life support apparatuses.

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  56. Heather said on February 25, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Well Nancy, you inspired me to go see the Cat Video Fest tonight. I’m going with a neighbor who does not have a cat but loves to take care of mine when I’m out of town.

    If anyone else is interested in cat videos combined with travel, I highly recommend this Instagram account: Dean found Nala as an abandoned kitten while cycling in Albania, and now she’s traveling the world with him. I wish my cat were so chill about new environments.

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  57. nancy said on February 25, 2020 at 6:03 pm


    Extensions. There’s no other way. Which goes to show how goddamn vain that woman is. She’s beautiful with her hair long or short, but she goes to the trouble to sit in a chair and have a stylist glue hair to her scalp. So much for all her hard work on behalf of the American people.

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  58. basset said on February 25, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    No, she is not beautiful, she looks like a damn robot. Just my opinion.

    Nobody has mentioned that today is George Harrison’s birthday. Think it’s already tomorrow in Liverpool, though, so maybe I’m late. Had Indian for lunch today in celebration, he woulda been 77.

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  59. David C. said on February 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    I am hearing that people want Combover Caligula to “do something” about the coronavirus. Am I alone in thinking whatever he does will be stupid, brutish, and not at all helpful – to the point I’d rather see him do nothing at all? I read “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis a couple of years ago and this is exactly what he was writing about. That the job of the government is to manage risk and he has no interest in that.

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm


    So my wife is distraught because it looks like our son’s May 5 trip to Japan is likely to be called off . . . but we won’t get refunds except for a part of his cost, so since we opted to sign on to go as companion travel adults, we’re going to be out $7,000 or more. Travel insurance doesn’t cover this, we learn. #AlwaysReadTheFinePrint

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  61. Suzanne said on February 25, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Not putting myself through watching the so-called debate but from what I am seeing on Twitter, it’s going toward the Lyin’ Ted, “you have small hands” [wink, wink] stage of the game.
    I am so exhausted of all this…

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  62. Jakash said on February 25, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    Uh, whoa, JTMMO. I’d have to listen to “End of the Line” a few dozen times before I’d ever get close to the equanimity you display by casually posting that comment featuring a kicker of being screwed out of $7,000. Whoa, again. What are you, a minister, or something? 🙂

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  63. beb said on February 26, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Jeff B@47: I was just reading tonight about Jinni Thomas’ involvment in the Trump purges. This is behavior unbecoming of the spouse of a Supreme Court Justice. There is no law regulating this but I think there should be requiring the spouses of SCOTUS justices to retire from any political activity. Of course it will be challenged and overturned by the Supreme Court. But it’s hard to maintain the aura of impartiality with a politically active spouse.

    The comment that women of color are not “condiments” to anyone’s presidential campaign is actually pretty silly because vice presidential nominations have always been condiments. A north candidate would pick a southern to get that Klan vote, or an Eastern might pick a western to “balance” the ticket. In Bernice’s case I think it’s vital that he balance the ticket with someone that is young (Julian Castro,say) and female (Harris, Abrams, Warren). Considering how much the Democrats depend on Black and Women votes, picking a black woman for VP makes sense.

    Deborah, blood clots can be treated relatively easily. “DNR” generally refer to “heroic” efforts at revival following a heart attack or stroke.

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  64. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 12:59 am

    This is nothing new for Ginni Thomas. She’s always been a conservative activist. She worked for Dick Armey and the Heritage Foundation before starting her own lobbying and consulting company, Liberty Consulting. She’s been a political activist the entire time her husband has been on the Court.

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  65. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 2:09 am

    So, the Trumpsters have underfunded public health, and now have a potential public health disaster on their hands, so they want to raid funds for energy assistance for poor people.

    I can assure you that this program is still very much in use right now; this is what my daughter does, screen people for this program.

    I have to say, it’s this kind of shit that really makes me wish for President Warren. It would be so nice to have someone competent in charge again.

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  66. alex said on February 26, 2020 at 6:44 am

    “[Expletive] your feelings!”

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  67. diane said on February 26, 2020 at 9:17 am

    The debate last night was a fiasco. I wanted to just cry.

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  68. Suzanne said on February 26, 2020 at 10:13 am

    The craziest thing about the idiotic Trump F*** your Feelings flag that Alex linked to @66 was the comments on the WANE-TV posts on Facebook & Twitter. So many upset with WANE for posting it (“My God! Think of the children!”) but almost none of those people upset with the homeowner who put it up facing a public roadway.

    So, this is where we are as a society.

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  69. Deborah said on February 26, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Didn’t watch the debate, won’t watch any more of them either, if there even are any. Don’t need to, I’ve made up my mind on Warren as my choice, and I’m going to knock on doors for her before the IL primary, the weekend of March 7-8. If Warren gets knocked out, my choice will be Klobacher or Buttigieg (probably spelled those wrong). In the end of course I’ll vote blue no matter who. I hope Bloomberg doesn’t get the nomination because that will be a painful vote, I don’t think he will. Bernie is going to need all the help he can get to beat Trump if he’s the nom, I will do whatever I can though.

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  70. Jeff Borden said on February 26, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Last night’s debate was a complete debacle. I am despairing the Democratic candidate will knock off the Orange King, especially if it is Bernie Sanders. And another four years of this corrupt leader aided and abetted by a gutless Senate and undergirded by lower federal courts packed with Heritage Foundation acolytes may well put our nation down for the count. And, dog love her, we can’t expect Ruth Bader Ginsburg to live forever, so we’d get another justice like Beer Bong Brett.

    The yahoos are ascendant.

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  71. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 10:33 am

    The elites who populate the highest levels of media punditry, run the Democratic Party, or get paid ridiculous sums to design nonworking apps or buy off Instagram meme-makers to pretend that Bloomberg is cool still don’t have time to talk to everyday voters about why they are so angry. They are instead busy searching for a messiah that will let them go back to their Sunday morning mimosas without worrying about a president who might start a nuclear war with a tweet. They are missing the real revolution — again!

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  72. Mark P said on February 26, 2020 at 11:31 am

    The goal of the news media is to generate enough blood in the “debate” to give them good snippets for their next-day broadcast, and to give their pundits something to pontificate about. They may have American citizenship, but they are not friends of this country.

    I wish one of the major candidates had held a press conference before the debate to announce that they would not participate. I wish one had said that the main goal of any good American is to defeat Trump, not to gain the nomination. I would refuse to attack the other candidates. That’s one reason I don’t like Buttigieg. He talks about Bernie Sanders wanting to burn things down. That’s Republican talk.

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  73. Scout said on February 26, 2020 at 11:59 am

    That debate was a mess. Gotta wonder if big media honchos (who are totally 1%ers) are behind this sabotage.

    Twitter insists Biden was awesome last night. My Mom said last night was painful for her, like she was watching my Dad, who has Dementia, up on the stage.

    Liz didn’t need to keep hammering on Bloomberg, unless that is the hit she has decided to take for the team. I still think she is the only candidate who can pull the party back together plus appeal to moderates and never-trumpers.

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  74. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    As we watch our government being cleared out of competent people, I keep being reminded of “Imperial Life in the Emerald City”, about how we “rebuilt” Iraq with similar competence.

    That, and how we’re on our way to being a third world country with a first world army.

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  75. alex said on February 26, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I fell asleep during the first half. That’s how bad it must have been, and I made a point of being home for it.

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  76. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    But turnout and demographics don’t win elections by themselves; variant outcomes also track to a striking degree to differences in strategy. Candidates who ran as liberal Democrats rather than more traditional “Blue Dog” campaigns outperformed their more moderate counterparts in terms of base turnout. This sharper partisan appeal has allowed them to come close to equalizing the partisan composition of the district. Like their more liberal counterparts, Blue Dog candidates still experienced large turnout surges among independents. But the winning margins they enjoyed proved to be tighter than those in districts featuring Democratic candidates who saw their party hit the same percentage level—in a larger pool of Democratic coalition voters—that Republican turnout had.

    This suggests these candidates may have paid a penalty by not focusing more effort on increasing turnout among their own voters and concentrating instead on independent and even opposition-party voters. This strategic choice is framed, in part, by the idea that consciously downplaying signs of Democratic affiliation will avoid upsetting Trump voters, and thereby will not inflate GOP turnout. But the data shows that Republican turnout surged in these Blue Dog districts, while Democratic turnout lagged compared to levels in other districts. In other words, my research suggests that there may be no benefit, only cost, to such a strategy.

    Read Rachel Bitecofer.

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  77. beb said on February 26, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    G’day. I got up expecting snowpocylse and see we got maybe two inches. And for this Detroit cancelled school? Then I pick up the laptop and start reading the news. Apparently there was another debate last night but the weirdest part of this seems to be a post-debate interview of Elizabeth Warren by Chris Matthews. In it he asked about the claim a woman had made that Bloomberg, then her employer had told her to “kill it,” meaning her pregnancy. Did Warren believe the woman. Warren said ‘yes.’ Then he asked her again, and again and again. It’s like Matthew couldn’t believe that a woman might believe a woman over a man. Not to mention why is he asked Warren questions about Bloomberg? Following his comparison to Bernie Nevada victory to the Nazi’s invading France I think it’s time for him to retire. He’s entered Crazy Uncle in the Attic territory.

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  78. alex said on February 26, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t know if Bitecofer’s argument would hold true in Indiana. Our Blue Dog Senator Joe Donnelly pissed off a lot of Democrats who said they might as well stay home if their candidate is going to try to pass himself off as a Republican on virtually all of the positions that matter, and she’s right that you lose your base that way. But if he’d styled himself as a progressive, he probably would have lost even bigger. I volunteered for a progressive Democrat from my congressional district in 2018 and she got majorly clobbered, even in a great Dem year.

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  79. Deborah said on February 26, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t like Chris Matthews, he constantly interrupts his guest, talks over them, pontificates, loves to hear himself talk I guess. I generally like the MSNBC lineup before and after Matthews, starting with Ari Melber, I usually skip Matthews and return when Chris Hayes comes on, then Rachel of course. I’m not as crazy about O’Donnell either but he’s better than Matthews. I can’t usually stay awake for Williams. I watch the lineup about once a week or every other week or so, I can’t take it every night

    We watched Marriage Story last night, it was good but over long, I thought. Adam Driver is such a good actor, everything I’ve seen him in he’s been stellar. I like Laura Dern, but I’ve seen her in other movies where her acting was better and she won an Oscar for this one. Seeing Wallace Shawn, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta again was cool, I thought they all did a good job, even though their roles were minor. Scarlott Johansson was good too but not as good as Driver IMO.

    We’re having dinner guests tonight from out of town. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to be in Chicago weatherwise, the wind has been brutal, not a lot of snow though.

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  80. St Bitch said on February 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for the link Sherri@71. It’s a gift.

    Like Jakash, this is the only social media platform I visit (well, almost the only one…rarely venture to the FB outback anymore…nor can I muster the energy to navigate the “festivals of reckless hatred” on Twitter).

    I’m finding that allowing “a small crack of optimism to push through” is exhausting, often harrowing; and so my words and arguments are just me clapping for that dying Tinkerbell of hope I’ve pinned on Bernie. Tuning into others’ claps is soooooo therapeutic!

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  81. Deborah said on February 26, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I’m very impressed with teenaged girls, did you all see that sweet Greta and Malala photo? Then I saw this on Twitter, a very funny map invented by a 16 year old. Read the thread and the comments are funny too.

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  82. Mark P said on February 26, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Deborah, I saw Adam Driver in one of the Star Wars movies and thought his acting was comically wooden. He seemed about as threatening as Michael Keaton as Batman.

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  83. LAMary said on February 26, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Re: smirking douchebag

    Looking at photos of Jared, Donny Jr. Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and I decided they all have very punchable faces and so does Roger Stone.

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  84. David C. said on February 26, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Rachel Bitcofer is an interesting read, but take it with a grain of salt. Some pollster has to do best with any election and just because she got it right last time doesn’t mean she’ll get it right this time. Past results don’t guarantee future performance and all that. Every election is different and expecting it to be the same is like fighting the last war.

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  85. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Bitecofer is not a pollster, she’s a political scientist.

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  86. David C. said on February 26, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    What difference does that make, Sherri. She’s in the prediction business and she’s just as likely to regress toward the mean than not.

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  87. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    it does make a difference, because it tells you something about what she’s doing and how she’s doing it.

    No, not all predictions are as likely to regress to the mean as not. Predictions based on a well built model are less likely to regress to the mean, because they’ve found something meaningful in the data. Polls are not models, they’re snapshots.

    We don’t know yet how good Bitecofer’s model is, but we do know how it performed in 2018 and in Virginia. Models don’t stay static, either; they’re refined as you gather better data.

    But lumping pollsters and political scientists together as both in the prediction biz and just as likely to regress to the mean is like lumping weather forecasters and climate scientists together: they’re doing similar but very different work, and one is more likely to see bigger trends than the other.

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  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 26, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Whoa. Got home from last Ash Wednesday service* just in time to hear the Joe Biden town hall on CNN, and Joe was just en fuego. He was both courteous and emphatic on why he didn’t think Bernie was a good choice, and was just incredibly effective on almost every answer. If this guy had shown up at a few more of the earlier debates, he’d be far and away the front runner.

    *Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return!

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  89. Sherri said on February 26, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Social engineering is always the easiest way to hack into a system.

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  90. ROGirl said on February 27, 2020 at 8:13 am

    A canvasser from Working America, affiliated with the afl-cio, came to my front door last night. They are in Michigan to try to keep it from going for rump again. I signed up and donated to the cause.

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  91. Deborah said on February 27, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Good to know that union canvasser’s are out there working door to door in Michigan to defeat Trump.

    Today we’re going to see uncle J, I’m bracing myself after almost 3 months away. I know that he has deteriorated considerably during that time, and I have to stay upbeat and positive when I’m around him, which is going to be hard but necessary.

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  92. Deborah said on February 27, 2020 at 9:44 am

    I’m perusing the news this morning and happened across this photo of Trump and Melania standing in front of the Taj Mahal The article is about Trump’s incompetence and the looming Coronavirus but the accompanying photo struck me. Here’s why: they’re in front of one of the most beautiful landscaped gardens in the world and somebody thought it was necessary for this photo op to add a bunch of flowers in what looks like cheap terra cotta pots on either side of them. What art director thought this was necessary for the photo? Seems ill advised to me, as someone who had to art direct photography from time to time.

    Also the flower pots don’t look artfully arranged, they’re not dense enough, too spread out.

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  93. Suzanne said on February 27, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Mike Pence is in charge of the Coronavirus disaster response. Dear Lord, we are all going to die for sure now. He handled the HIV crisis in Indiana so competently.

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  94. Peter said on February 27, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Some pundit much smarter than me had a perfect comment for last night’s Coronavirus press conference: “That was something you’d see as the first scene in a zombie movie.”

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  95. Suzanne said on February 27, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Also, I am sitting at work watching my retirement funds slip away…

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  96. LAMary said on February 27, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Those flower pots do look stupid. It looks like my deck when I just got home from the garden center and I’m trying to figure out where to put the plants.

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  97. Julie Robinson said on February 27, 2020 at 10:49 am

    The plants are all leggy, as if they were grown in a hurry, using lot of fertilizer and artificial lighting to get them ready in time. They’ll be dead by next week. Ah, who am I kidding, they were probably dumped in the trash the second they left.

    Suzanne, I can’t even get in to my retirement funds account. We got a new computer and it’s locked me out, though not my husband. I’ve been on the phone, got a temporary password that didn’t work, was told to give it a few minutes. It’s been 35 and it still doesn’t work. Vanguard has been slipping ever since its founder died.

    And I also made the mistake of clicking unsubscribe to the emails that keep inviting me to Amazon Business Prime, no doubt because we bought the computer parts through them. Most times that takes you to a confirmation button and you’re done. This one took me to a general page, with nothing about unsubscribing, so I started a chat. THREE different customer reps and 17 minutes later I’ve been told I’m finally unsubscribed.

    Apparently I’m in cluster hell this morning.

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  98. Deborah said on February 27, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Those photo op plants reminded me of the opening day of the playground we designed, that uncle J funded for his home town. A surrounding garden of native plants was designed to surround the playground, but the opening day was Labor Day and it was hotter than hell in Illinois that year so the newly planted plants were all wilted. Uncle J’s wife (now estranged) and her friend went to Walmart and bought some potted plants to scatter around. They looked really stupid too, they put them directly on the playground plaza and of course the kids knocked them over in the first 5 minutes. It was ridiculous.

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  99. nancy said on February 27, 2020 at 11:12 am

    I’m more struck that they’re standing in front of the planet’s largest shrine to love, and not even holding hands. Although Melania is smiling, a rarity. Maybe she just got off the phone with her lawyer, who informed her the prenup has run out and he renegotiated a better severance bonus when the time comes.

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  100. Jakash said on February 27, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Suzanne, I think you’ll appreciate this:

    “Mike Pence caused an outbreak to grow
    & then became veep, as we know.
    He now has new goals
    & duties & roles
    Including [checks notepad] oh no”

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  101. Suzanne said on February 27, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Jakash that is great!

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  102. Sherri said on February 27, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    I can’t decide if we’re lucky that it took so long I to this administration of horrors for a externally generated crisis to occur, or unlucky that is took so long that trump had time to destroy all the institutions first.

    Which makes me think about his potential successors: who among them can build up organizations and institutions? When we elect a President, we’re not just electing a person, we’re electing a whole infrastructure of political appointees. That’s why it matters who’s endorsing whom, who the campaign surrogates are. That’s why I care so much more about what a candidate has done rather than what a candidate says. Ideas are a lot easier than actions. Ideas don’t require hard choices.

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  103. Jenine said on February 27, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Salma Hayek is always worth looking at even in the ugly dress at the top of this post from Tom and Lorenzo: Salma at the Berlinale International Film Festival
    The second dress is dishy and this is the quote that got me – “She could get Gucci to make her a scrunchie if she wanted to.”

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  104. Jeff Borden said on February 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Well, if Mike Dense is as successful with the coronavirus as he was with HIV while governor of Indiana, the Orange King will sack him as veep because nothing–nothing– is ever his fault. Watch and see. The preznit is a jackal.

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  105. Peter said on February 27, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Well, I’m not planning on retiring for about 7 years, so maybe my retirement funds can recover by then.

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  106. Scout said on February 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Peter @ 105 – Suddenly I’m happy I still have four years until I retire. Hopefully President Warren will have things under control by then.

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  107. Julie Robinson said on February 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    We are a year out from retirement. Gulp. We did take a majority of our investments out of stocks. But still.

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  108. Sherri said on February 27, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I agree with practically everything in this David Roberts piece, unfortunately.

    Just call me an ambitious pragmatist. I’m used to being an outlier, but It’s still dismaying.

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  109. alex said on February 27, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    My retirement’s in flux. I’ll decide when’s the right time and it’s gonna be a few years yet. Today’s just a correction, as happens every so often, and we’re all back to being our real net worth.

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  110. Dexter Friend said on February 28, 2020 at 2:51 am

    If Biden destroys the field, he’s back in this thing, and he’s surging, the surge post Clyburn’s endorsement was huge. If Bernie recovers from the Biden victory, and cleans up on Super Tuesday shortly, he’ll be the nominee, and will surely pick Warren as VP. They think alike, and really are friends. Bernie will vet his choice, unlike McCain’s hasty choice of Palin. Bernie sees Netanyahu for what he is, a bigot and a racist, and Bernie said so the other night. OK, I would love to see Pete in there, but it appears this is not a Kennedyesque 1960 re-enactment. If Bloomberg ascends via his money rocket, I’ll vote for him. If Klobuchar wins the nomination, I’ll vote for her. I believe in anybody but Trump. Bloomberg has almost (not quite) pledged to use his fortune to support anybody but Trump. We must defeat the liar and get him out of Washington forever.

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  111. Sherri said on February 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    During 2016, my encounter with BernieBros in caucus was them not understanding anything about how the process worked and then constantly shouting that everything was a conspiracy against them. It was extremely tiresome, but okay, I thought, they were new.

    Now, it’s 2020, and Bernie’s people had a hand in setting the rules and procedures for how a nominee is chosen. After three states have assigned delegates, and Bernie has a lead, his surrogates are now shouting that we should ignore the procedure and make him the nominee. (To be clear, they aren’t saying skip the remaining primaries. They’re saying, if he goes into the convention with a plurality but not a majority, he should be the nominee, screw the procedure.) Anyone who points out that they’re taking the exact opposite stance to what they took in 2016 is attacked. Anyone who points out that they got to help make the rules is attacked.

    It’s so Republican.

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  112. Scout said on February 28, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I find Bernie to be so very tiresome. He is a chaos agent who cost us the last election and gave us fat Hilter. Now he’s back, older and feebler, and his army of bullies and bots are even worse than last time, relentlessly haranguing everyone who backs other candidates. (Those who post here in support of him excepted, of course.) He is already presenting Dr notes instead of real health records and hasn’t released his taxes. Sound like anyone else we know?

    Twitter may not be real life, but the Berners there are all Vote Blue No matter Who when he’s doing well, but then as soon as someone else is on top, like Biden in SC right now, they’re all screaming that everything is rigged again and that they will never vote for anyone but Bernie. I find absolutely everything about his 2020 campaign annoying af. His major policy platform is shared by Warren, who is way more palatable to actual Democrats, and who, like Biden will have coattails to help retain the House and take the Senate. Speaking of Biden, if he chooses Kamala as his running mate, it could be a game changer. I think Liz should start floating her VP choices too, because I think these things are a big factor in this election where the top candidates (minus Pete) are in their 70s.

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  113. Maria said on February 28, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Tiresome is the perfect word for Bernie.

    A headline for an op ed piece captures my take on him: “Bernie wants to provoke, not persuade.” He’s always been this way, good at taking stands and yelling, but not at all interested in making alliances and working with others (who aren’t as pure as he is) to get something accomplished. Warren would be a much better choice, but yeah, I’ll vote for the guy if he’s the candidate, God help us all.

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  114. Sherri said on February 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Remember the CEO who slashed his own salary and gave everybody in his company a minimum $70K salary? Five years later, it’s still working out.

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  115. alex said on February 28, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t know that Bernie would cost the ticket significant votes. Trump wasn’t universally popular with the GOP but Republicans ended up holding their noses and voting for him despite his being manifestly unfit and I suspect that Dems would ultimately fall in line for Bernie if it came to that.

    Don’t lose sight of the fact that all of the nominees including Bernie still poll higher than Trump, even when Fox does the polling, and the primaries have only begun. Bernie’s early wins may not mean jack shit a month from now in the whole scheme of things.

    My dad will vote for Bernie if it comes to that but he’s still very concerned that most people have been so brainwashed about the “socialist” label that it will ruin the election. I’m not as concerned about it.

    What’s held the Dems back all of these years is trying to appease Republicans who won’t vote Dem anyway. It’s time we had candidates willing to turn it around and make Republicans run away from their own positions. I know it’s hard to shame people who have no shame, but they deserve to be marginalized in exactly the same way they’ve been doing to us.

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  116. Scout said on February 28, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I’m not as worried about all Dems holding their noses and falling in line to vote for Bernie if he wins the nomination. I am worried that his people won’t do the same for Biden or Warren or Buttigieg if they win.

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  117. Deborah said on February 28, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Exactly Scout, my fear too.

    My experience at uncle J’s turned out to be very positive. While he has deteriorated a lot over the 3 months I was gone, he still knew exactly who I was and was very happy to see me. I realize it’s not about me but that made me very happy.

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  118. Sherri said on February 28, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    I worry mostly about downticket impacts if Bernie is the nominee, because I really fear that candidates will run away from him. I also worry some that Bloomberg will run third party if Bernie is the nominee. Never underestimate a billionaire’s ego. If there’s a third party candidate, Trump wins.

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  119. Mark P said on February 28, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    I found this interesting. Kelly Loeffler, the tall, blonde Trumpista that Georgia’s “governor” appointed to the Senate is running campaign ads attacking Sanders as a socialist. Apparently they think this is a strong enough point that a candidate for any office can run against him.

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  120. Julie Robinson said on February 29, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Raise your hand if you also had to block a couple of people on Facebook for sharing the tired old meme of Democrats coming after your guns, combined with the new meme of Communism.

    But the sun is out and we’re at the airport, so I hope to immerse myself in family and friends and hopefully even more sun.

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  121. St Bitch said on February 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Julie Robinson,

    If I remember correctly, you’re a fellow audiobook listener; so I’m aiming this recommendation towards you:

    Such a Fun Age – a debut novel by Kiley Reid.

    Among the many elements that are ripe for discussion, my favorite is the central love story (not a romance).

    Above all, a simply delicious narration takes a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening read over-the-top!

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  122. Julie Robinson said on February 29, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you, Ms B, I’m always looking for recommendations, especially those that can thread the needle between too light and too heavy.

    I just started listening to Just Mercies, and while a heavy subject it’s very well written. It’s unfolding like a story, if that makes any sense.

    Oh yes, we found the sun too!

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  123. Sherri said on February 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    The first Coronavirus death in the US has occurred at my nearest hospital, and a long term care facility in Kirkland has a resident with a positive test and multiple sick residents.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we weren’t closing schools within a week.

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  124. Deborah said on February 29, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    Sherri, that’s kind of scary, to have it be so close to you.

    Another cultural afternoon at the Art Institute with out of town friends, tomorrow evening we go out to dinner with them. Then Monday thru Wednesday we go back to uncle J’s. The night after we get back other out of town guests at our place for dinner, then we’re done for a while. I’m not sure how it happened that all these people decided to visit Chicago during late winter.

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  125. Mark P. said on February 29, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Sherri, it seems likely that the virus is out in the wild now. I don’t see how it can be contained at this point. That probably means that a majority of the world’s population will eventually get it.

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  126. Deborah said on February 29, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    So Biden has won SC, now what?

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  127. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 12:55 am

    The latest. A bunch of firefighters and EMTs in Kirkland and Redmond are quarantined after having answered calls at the long term care facility over the last week.

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  128. alex said on March 1, 2020 at 6:36 am

    So Biden’s expected to win in all of the states that will still vote red in the fall if he’s nominated. Sanders is favored in the biggest and bluest states. That’s what Biden’s win means. Diddly, in other words.

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  129. Suzanne said on March 1, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Found out today that a woman who lived on my dorm floor in college and who I have kept in touch with over the past 40 years, works at the hospital in Washington where the man died from the coronavirus.

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  130. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 10:11 am

    A number of people on Twitter have been commenting about how wrong the polls have been about the primaries. I haven’t been paying that much attention to polls since 2016, I think it was Sherri who commented here about the polls using ineffective data gathering, people who answer unknown numbers on their cell phones are not representative of the population, etc. It seems that nobody really knows what’s going on. The only poll I watch semi-consistently is Trump’s unfavorability/favorability on Five Thirty Eight.

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  131. susan said on March 1, 2020 at 11:13 am

    In case you don’t listen to On The Media, Laurie Garrett was on last Friday’s program, and she mentioned an article she had published in Foreign Policy about The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe. She is someone whose knowledge of viruses and pandemics I trust, as opposed to My Pants’ Prey-It-Away policy.

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  132. susan said on March 1, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Here’s the link to the On The Media segment with Laurie Garrett.

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  133. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 11:30 am

    We can see up the lake that something is going on at North Beach in Chicago this morning, I looked it up and it’s the annual polar plunge. I can’t imagine what it feels to jump into frigid lake water. There are a bunch of big white tents up, apparently thousands of people do it and then thousands more watch, I guess it’s a big deal, and they raise money for charity with it.

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  134. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Good link Susan.

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  135. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Apparently the Costco’s in the area were even more insanely crowded than usual yesterday, as you add fears of a Coronavirus pandemic to a typical Saturday.

    Last week, as it became clear that Coronavirus would spread, I did stock up a little more when I hit the grocery store, picking up some stuff for the freezer and the pantry, but nothing crazy. I went ahead and ordered any prescriptions I could, out of concerns about supply chains. Fortunately, I had restocked toilet paper last week, too, since apparently there was a run on TP here yesterday, as well as hand sanitizer. Not sure what the TP thing is about other than a crowd effect – you see someone buying and think, oh, I’d better stock up, too!

    Reading the local FB groups, there’s a few people already calling for schools to be closed, but most people don’t think that’s necessary yet. That could change quickly though. The long term care facility is the biggest concern locally, because that potentially exposed a variety of people, from employees to firefighters and EMTs to 16 nursing students from a local community college to visitors. If the R0 is around 2, the number of people exposed could have grown tremendously in the last week.

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  136. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    I feel this story.

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  137. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    The Chicago area has 3 cases, I haven’t seen the stocking up phenomenon yet, but I’m going to the grocery store this afternoon so maybe it has started by now. I usually buy my groceries one or two days at a time because our storage space is limited, so I won’t be stocking up much.

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  138. Diane said on March 1, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Alex @136. I came here to ask that very question, why is the fact that Biden won South Carolina considered to be such a game changer? South Carolina hasn’t voted blue in a long time and the last time I looked, we still have the Electoral College. I’m feeling very manipulated by all the hype.
    I will of course vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is but from the beginning Biden has been the one that it will be the hardest for me to vote for. My vote on Tuesday will still be for Elizabeth Warren.

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  139. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    I could vote for Biden more easily than Bloomberg, but I’ll do either if it comes to that. Warren is still my fave too. I love her.

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  140. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2020 at 4:51 pm


    The Polar Plunge raises millions of dollars for the Special Olympics, which were first held in Chicago. Participants got off lucky today with the somewhat warmer temperatures, though that wind must’ve cut like a knife when they ran out of the water. Every year a celebrity or two takes the plunge –this year it was supposed to be Al Roker– and they’ve included Jimmy Fallon and Lady Gaga, who used to date an actor starring in “Chicago Fire,” the TV series filmed here.

    My faith in humanity continues to erode as this horrible presidency lumbers on. Apparently, it has become a meme among the Magats that all the coronavirus cases are in blue states, which shows how stoopid them Demoncrats are, haw, haw, haw. For fuck’s sake, people are sick and dying, but anything for a cheap shot at non-Magats. Bernie, Biden, Daffy Duck, Bart Simpson. . .I don’t care. Nothing will be worse than another term with this hemorrhoid in the Oval Office.

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  141. Joe Kobiela said on March 1, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Another one bites the dust, wife just informed me that Pete just suspended his campaign.
    Probably the most sane of the bunch.
    Pilot Joe

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  142. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Two worrisome developments on the coronavirus:

    1. Loyola University Chicago, where I teach part-time, is recalling all our students from our Rome campus and asking them to voluntarily quarantine themselves for 14 days.

    2. The wife of one of my neighborhood buddies works for a major NGO based in the Chicago area. They are suspending ALL international travel for the next four months based on projections that this will evolve into a major pandemic.

    Thank dog we have such terrific leadership in D.C.

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  143. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Do people realize that Dem primaries aren’t winner take all? I see a lot of complaints about having voted for candidates who have dropped out, or how here in WA, we should wait until after Super Tuesday to return our ballots. (We have ballots now, have to be postmarked by March 10.) That doesn’t make any sense to me. If there are issues that matter to you, and a candidate that matters to you, then voting for her means she gets delegates, which means she has some influence on the eventual nominee even if it isn’t her.

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