Customer service.

I feel like I spend more time apologizing here than actually writing anything of interest. Last week was about as bananas as weeks get for me, at least one that didn’t involve some sort of tragedy or truly bad luck. No, it was all plain old work, just work, plus an extracurricular event on Friday night that I was involved with executing. Everything went well, but it was just one of Those Weeks — never ahead, always juggling 10 different things, dropping lots of balls but scooping them back up and trying to get them aloft again.

At one point Friday, I realized I had two text conversations going, a Google hangout, an urgent email dangling in reply, and, AND, a third separate text conversation with the cable company, which left me vowing that this time, no kidding, I am fucking DROPPING cable internet because Xfinity sucks so bad.

Long story short: I carried a bag of trash out to the cans and found the cable line drooping to about the level of my chin. Some utility crews have been in the neighborhood trimming trees away from power lines, doing their usual job, which is to say, not quite the work of a trained arborist. A limb must have knocked it loose. We still had cable, but probably not for much longer.

Xfinity makes such a mockery of customer service. I can feel my chest tightening just thinking about Friday. It used to be, you called a number, made your way through a decision tree, and ended up speaking to a heavily accented woman in a call center far away across the Pacific. I would ask where they were, and they would always deflect, but from their accents I deduced: The Philippines. But those days, those crazy days of yore, are gone forever. Now you must communicate with these individuals via text message. And because they aren’t using Apple’s iMessage, this means thumb-typing, not my strong suit. Fortunately, there’s a workaround, I forget what they call it in the OS, where you can type on your screen, cntrl-C, and then paste it manually on your phone. Laborious, but effective.

Are the people you are texting with in the Philippines? No idea. They could be on the moon for all I know. Based on their replies, which ranged from perfect answers to a standard question — no doubt copied and pasted from a script — to broken English on non-standard ones, they’re almost certainly not in the U.S.:

Comcast Care Chat: Rest assured that once the technician goes there, all your frustrations will stop so you will finally have your peace of mind.

Long story short, the line was fixed, but the guy restrung it differently, so it’s probably going to come down again when we have the giant dying oak tree removed from the back yard tomorrow. Speaking of things that tighten my chest. There’s losing a tree that’s probably close to a century old, for starters, and then what it will cost: The price of a decent vacation.

So at the start of a month, when the stock market is tanking and public hysteria is rising and Rush Limbaugh, that ignorant pile of crap, is telling people that it’s the common cold and anyway, that doctor talking about this disease like she knows something? She’s Rod Rosenstein’s sister, you know:

No wonder I’m in such a foul mood.

But by this time Wednesday things should have slowed down considerably, so look for more then.

In the meantime, here is a very strange story that I kept expecting to go in a different direction than it did. The headline is Miranda’s Rebellion, but it’s really about the agonies of a southern homemaker who can’t stop the bells clanging in her head:

It is white women in the Deep South who have remained [Republican] loyalists, the research showed, giving Trump 64 percent of their vote in 2016, a figure that did not include Miranda Murphey, who had first started reevaluating her politics after the election of Barack Obama, even though she had voted Republican.

“It was all the comments I kept hearing, like, ‘Change the channel, I don’t want to see that black face,’” she said. “It was always that he was black, not that he was liberal, not that there was a problem with some policy. I always thought being a Republican meant supporting the military and lower taxes, not being racist and ignorant.”

Then came Trump, who Miranda found so morally repugnant that for the first time in her voting life she wrote in the name of the Libertarian Party candidate and went to bed expecting that good and decent conservatives would do the same. She woke up realizing she was wrong. Church members had voted for Trump. Her parents had gone for Trump. Phillip [her husband]: Trump.

Miranda made a new friend at the start of the administration, and I kept waiting for her to leave Phillip for Liz, but that didn’t happen. But it’s a very good story, and I recommend it.

Also: Mayor Pete is out. So there’s that.

As for me, here’s to an easier week for me, you and everybody else. Wash your hands.

Posted at 6:57 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

95 responses to “Customer service.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    This is some kickass reading. Johanna and I both found it compelling and powerful.

    82 chars

  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 1, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    You officially have our permission to stop apologizing!

    55 chars

  3. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Mayor Pete leaving the race means that Joe Biden is the youngest man running for President.

    91 chars

  4. Joe Kobiela said on March 1, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    We switched over to internet on our tv a couple of months ago and have been very happy with Hulu saving about $50.00 a month.
    As far as the Coronavirus is concerned I’m not throwing in with the conspiracy crowd, my brother in law and his wife are both Doctors and they don’t seem too worried about it. It is good for my job, more people want to fly private now than ever before.
    Pilot Joe

    394 chars

  5. alex said on March 1, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Sherri at 3…

    And the phoniest and most scripted, even though he’s too senile to remember his lines.

    So we’ve gotta choose from the lesser of three evils, all of whom suck.

    180 chars

  6. Sherri said on March 1, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    TIL that while each member of Congress represents on average 700K people, each member of the California state senate represents over 930K.

    That’s also more than the entire population of five states.

    203 chars

  7. Brandon said on March 1, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Nevertheless, Tulsi persists. But for how much longer?

    54 chars

  8. Deborah said on March 1, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Mayor Pete is very young and has a lot of opportunities ahead of him. I may not have agreed with him about some things, but I found him impressive, he’ll be back in some capacity and more power to him.

    201 chars

  9. beb said on March 1, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Steyer is also out, but I never expected him to go anywhere. I’m surprised that Buttegrieg didn’t least hang on thru Super Tuesday. What bothers me is that Elizabeth Warren is still in the race but no one ever speaks of her anymore. It’s like she’s been blacklisted by the media and the DNC.

    The sight of Republicans attacking a doctor because related Rod Rosenstein is to weep.

    382 chars

  10. Mark P said on March 1, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    It’s beginning to look like a 14-day quarantine may not be sufficient to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, since no one seems to know the incubation period, and asymptomatic people can probably transmit the virus. Good thing we have the president’s poodle in charge of our response.

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  11. Brandon said on March 2, 2020 at 12:10 am

    What bothers me is that Elizabeth Warren is still in the race but no one ever speaks of her anymore. It’s like she’s been blacklisted by the media and the DNC.

    Again, like Tulsi.

    192 chars

  12. susan said on March 2, 2020 at 12:16 am

    I like this comment:
    But he will still be younger than Biden if he runs any time in the next FORTY years.

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  13. Dexter Friend said on March 2, 2020 at 2:41 am

    I keep learning about alternate ways to get my channels and sometimes I get false instructions. I hate the thought of going back to basic cable but soon my internet and TV package is going to top $300 per month, based on steady increases…this month another $16 so now I am at $246. The increases get larger and more frequent. My daughter bought a FireStick for me and now I get Prime and a helluva lotta other stuff. As a baseball fanatic, I must have MLB Network, and I need TCM; I could access HBO on the FireStick I am told , and just subscribe for the duration of certain series. The Dan Patrick Show is moving today to YouTube TV and on the app I hope. Now, before every college basketball telecast, a statement tells us the game will also be on the app. So on the Bleacher Report page I read , on Friday, that all college sports will soon be only on apps. This sounds preposterous, but to me now it does seem possible.
    ~ The City of Bryan lost the private tree man so they hired an outfit in Wauseon for forestry concerns. In Chicago and other places, if you live in the city and pay taxes, forestry work is free. Here it only gets paid for if say a tree on city-owned terrace land (think curbside strip of lawn) crashes onto your house (3 times for me in 39 years) . If a tree needs attention, as nance is facing, you pay. The goddam Chinese elm hanging over my house never fell, yet. Fucking neighbor refuses to trim it, city won’t make him, so…sword of Damocles, sort of. I have a thin dead oak I am going to have taken down and out this summer. Maybe $250? This place is not a rip-off business.
    Pete did all he could . I liked him. His speech in South Bend last evening was great. I am now 100% for Bernie, but I am surely not voting for any fringe candidate…whoever is the nominee gets my vote. Donald Trump is an evil weirdo and a piss-poor President who must be taken down by the ballot box. Our Primary Election is in 15 days. I’ll be there to vote.

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  14. Charlotte said on March 2, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Dexter — MLB.com is one of the absolute GEMS of internet TV! I have a Roku (which is akin to a Firestick). You subscribe via the MLB.com website, then do that thing where you go to the channel and put in a code. Ten years with a Bostonian and I’m now a Red Sox fan … what I love is that we can start the game when we come home — and you can hide the scores. So we never worry about missing a game, and spend many a pleasant evening watching baseball, mostly without commercials (although they’re creeping in).

    I cut my cable TV cord probably 8 years ago? I use Roku, and pay subscriptions for Netflix, Acorn, Britbox, NHL.com and MLB.com. A bunch of channels we can only get because Himself has satellite at the cabin so we piggyback (CNN, ESPN, etc). But for the most part, I pay FAR less than I did for Cable, and I’ve gotten so used to being able to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it that I find broadcast TV weird.

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  15. Deborah said on March 2, 2020 at 10:22 am

    We’re cutting the cord on cable in Santa Fe, I wanted to do it this week but we’re headed to uncle J’s again today and I also have to wait until the guy upstairs from our condo in SF has time to help set up the TV there for Hulu and Amazon Prime etc, we already know how to do Netflix. It is so expensive to have cable and we don’t use it very often. In Chicago cable is part of our monthly assessment so even though we barely use it we’re paying for it anyway. In SF we have Comcast Xfinity and in Chicago it’s RCN.

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  16. nancy said on March 2, 2020 at 10:28 am

    We haven’t had cable TV for years. But we have had cable internet.

    Soon, we’re switching to AT&T fiber. Fuck those people.

    126 chars

  17. Mark P said on March 2, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Internet? What is this thing you call internet?

    We get online through our cell service. No cable, not even DSL up on the mountain where we live. I’m hoping Elon’s starlink satellite network is reasonable and actually works. My late brother lived in Chattanooga where the commercial providers failed to get broadband out fast enough, so the city did it instead. The commercial providers’ response was not to compete but to sue to try to stop the city.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2020 at 11:26 am

    We tried cable for a year and I hated it. My dearly beloved spent the whole evening changing channels, and they all seemed to be angry men shouting at each other.

    We share services within the family, and there’s a couple I haven’t even watched anything on yet. Just not enough time.

    I’ve been weeding the front garden in sun and perfect temperatures. This is Orlando’s best time of year.

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  19. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Oddly enough, I’ve had good customer service experience with Xfinity, including recently when I upgraded my cable modem. I’m picky about my cable modems, so I buy my own rather than use theirs, so I always have to talk to someone to get it online. I was prepared for a painful experience, but I was quickly connected with a really helpful person who knew what he was doing (he wasn’t just following a script).

    The alternative here is Frontier FIOS, and I gave up on my old copper land line telephone service because Frontier was so incompetent I had no faith that they would actually be able to keep the service up in a disaster. They’ve since been bought by a private equity company, so I’m not optimistic.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Locally Frontier bought Verizon’s land and internet lines just as everyone was ditching land lines. It never seemed like a good business plan, and I’ve also heard tales of their incompetence.

    But I will say we never had trouble with our FIOS service and it was lightning fast. Much better than what we have at the apartment, which I believe is Comcast but serviced by the apartment maintenance folks. It cuts out a lot.

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  21. Scout said on March 2, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I love the Today in nn.c history bar over there ->
    Today I was re-reading the 2/29/08 entry from when Nancy broke the Tim Goeglein plagiarism story, entitled Copycat. It had 571 comments. Probably a record here.

    Mayor Pete and Tom Steyer leaving the race will benefit Joe and Liz. St. Bernie’s army wants Liz to drop out so that her supporters go to him. I’m a Liz supporter and if she leaves the race my vote goes to Biden. Maybe St. B can pick up a few Tulsi voters when she finally shuts up and goes away.

    My great granddaughter’s first birthday is on Wednesday, but her party was yesterday. She was the life of it, went strong for 6 hours without a nap, playing, opening gifts, smashing cake all over her face and performing for her fans:
    https://twitter.com/ScoutVotesBlue/status/1234531710978576384

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  22. Dorothy said on March 2, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I read the Miranda story and all I could think was how I could never ever ever live in a community surrounded by Trump supporters without losing my freaking mind. I’d seriously be under arrest, I have no doubt, if I had to live like that. My mouth would be writing checks my ass could not cash.

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  23. 4dirds said on March 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Dorothy @22. I so had to laugh at your comment. When the civil war comes, I’ll be among the first to be hanged or shot. I can’t keep my mouth shut either.

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  24. Jakash said on March 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    From the “there’s a jaw-droppingly hypocritical Trump tweet for every situation” file that could fill an encyclopedia volume:

    Our fearless leader, Oct. 17, 2014:

    “Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!”

    Among a few folks I’ve talked to recently, I’ve been surprised at the added traction that Biden is getting at this point, as I am by Scout’s comment @ 21. Haven’t thought about it much, but I suppose I agree with her about switching to Joe if Warren doesn’t make it. All I care about is the Dem nominee winning the election. More than likely, bunches of Bernie folks won’t vote for Biden, but I would probably go with the calculated gamble that Joe would still do better in a general election than Bernie even having lost those short-sighted enthusiasts. Though that theory didn’t work out too well in 2016, alas.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Dorothy,

    My wife is dear friends with a very Southern bellesque woman, who splits her time between Atlanta and a small burg about an hour and a half north. Her late husband was something of a bigshot lawyer in the little town and pals with Sonny Perdue, the former governor. It’s total tRump country, of course, so it was considered quite shocking and a failure on her part when her son came out as gay. She is chided for receiving the Sunday edition of the NYT in the mail because, of course, everyone knows it is fake news. Like you, we would curl up and die if we were forced to live in such a small and small-minded place.

    Not sure if anyone else saw this, but the insufferable Steve Bannon was interviewed over the weekend, declaring that tRump’s response to the coronavirus will be his “Churchillian moment” and that no Dem including Michelle Obama will be able to defeat him in November. (I’m not sure why he brought up Ms. Obama except, well, she IS black.) The only Churchillian moment I can see ahead for the Orange King is him eating dog shit like the bulldog named Churchill we see in the park sometimes.

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  26. Icarus said on March 2, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    they are dropping like flies (apologies if someone else mentioned Klobuchar)

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/klobuchar-ending-her-presidential-bid-183214593.html

    But isn’t that how it is? most drop out before not too long because they never had a serious chance OR intention of running. They were just auditioning for their next big thing.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on March 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Amy Klobuchar is out, 3angry old white guys and a whinny Schoolmarm left to fight it out.
    Priceless
    Pilot Joe

    111 chars

    • nancy said on March 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      Joe, kindly fuck off. Whiny schoolmarm? Please.

      47 chars

  28. Heather said on March 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I concur with the proprietress.

    31 chars

  29. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Elizabeth Warren remains my choice in the Illinois primary. She’d be an awesome president.

    90 chars

  30. Jakash said on March 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I’m just a tad disappointed that Nancy graciously edited the bullshit, rather than leaving the misspelling and clueless capitalization.

    Priceless, indeed.

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  31. Joe Kobiela said on March 2, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Sorry on the spelling but that’s my take on Lizzy. I’m tired of being talked down too. It’s going to cost the Democratic party the election just like last time. Anyone who makes a mistake or miss spells or heaven forbid not agree with you on something is automatically told to fuck off,your racist, or stupid, please keep it up it’s a automatic win for the R’s come November
    Cheerfully yours
    Pilot Joe

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  32. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Being a Southern woman requires a level of cognitive dissonance I wasn’t capable of. I had to shut down so much of who I was growing up, it took a long time and lots of therapy to feel okay being me. I don’t think I would have survived had I stayed, given how deeply depressed I became even though I got out.

    I know lots of Miranda’s. Most never get as far as Miranda in openly rebelling.

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  33. nancy said on March 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    If you feel “talked down to,” Joe, I’m not sure why. Warren not only doesn’t whine, she addresses voters as though they have working brains and are actually interested in policy. You want whining? How about President They’re So Mean to Me?

    Really, if you confined your comments to the sky conditions over Orlando, that would be just fine.

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  34. Heather said on March 2, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Not to mention that calling an older woman who has outshone her rivals again and again with her competence and smarts a “schoolmarm” is classic sexism. So she doesn’t smile and speak nicely all the time–neither do the men.

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  35. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Must. Not. Engage. Troll.

    Meanwhile, here at Coronavirus ground zero, five people have died in King County and one in neighboring Snohomish County, and King County is buying a motel to isolate confirmed patients.

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  36. Peter said on March 2, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Sherri at #3 – WHOA! Joe Biden is the youngest candidate? OK, so we’re not including Tulsi, but OH MY GOD! No wonder young people hate me.

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  37. Scout said on March 2, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    After the troll posts about a “whinney Schoolmarm”, WE’RE talking down to HIM. Because the only reason he’ll vote *AGAIN* for the dumbest, meanest, least qualified moron ever is because liberals talked down to him. Sure, sure. Talk about being “whinney”.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    PJ’s reaction to Warren is precisely what I’ve been saying all along; she can’t get traction because she’s a woman. Any man behaving the same way would be portrayed as getting his point across with force.

    Good Lord, six dead now. I disconnect for a couple of hours and all hell breaks loose. Plus now I read that both Klobuchar and Buttigieg are endorsing Biden?????

    Miranda has a lot more patience than I do, or maybe she’s quietly looking for an exit strategy.

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  39. Peter said on March 2, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Pilot Joe, I won’t pile on, other than to say that I have been a huge Warren supporter for a long time. I don’t think she’s in the early stages of senility, like some other candidates, and she doesn’t pander to the pundits, hypocrites, and glad handing pols like the rest of them. That being said, I was really offended when Neil Steinberg referred to her as vinegar voiced; although he’s entitled to his opinion, and I have to admit there’s truth behind that comment. I mean really – you shouldn’t vote for someone based on their vocal qualities, but I can listen to her a lot longer than most candidates I know.

    Some years back I did a couple of projects for Peter Francis Geraci, the Chicago bankruptcy lawyer (yes, the guy on TV…) He told me how easy it is for people to get trapped into debt, and the lengths that greedy companies can go to make their lives beyond miserable. Warren, in my opinion, is the only one who is trying to right that wrong, and that’s good enough for me.

    Just my two cents.

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  40. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Peter@36, I said the youngest *man* running for President. And actually, that’s not true; he’s the youngest man running for the Democratic nomination. Trump is younger.

    But Biden is younger than Sanders or Bloomberg.

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  41. Mark P said on March 2, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t feel like Warren is talking down to me. She seems to expect everyone to be as intelligent as she is, which is the direct opposite of talking down. She also doesn’t take a lot of bullshit from idiots. I like her no-nonsense approach. I plan to vote for her in Georgia’s primary.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on March 2, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Joe is steamrolling and tomorrow the tea leaves will be read. What a surprising boost South Carolina gave Joe. We all knew Joe would win but nobody knew Joe would be catapulted back from the dead to right back into it. Tonight in Texas, Pete is going to endorse Joe (his plane is in the air at this moment) , Amy to follow, then eventually Barack is going to endorse Joe, so there ya go. Bernie still figures to receive a delegate giant harvest in California. This is a two-man race today, by Wednesday we’ll know if Elizabeth Warren has a slim hope at the prize. Mike Bloomberg ? ?? That is a mystery…can sixty billion dollars buy The White House? My candidate , Bernie, gets called all kinds of names, like “old coot who should just retire”. I have called Trump all sorts of horrible names. That’s politics. Fucking Trump calls every Democrat some kind of shitty name. It’s a free-for-all.

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  43. David C. said on March 2, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    I wish TCM was available as a standalone. Unless there’s some way that I haven’t found, you have to get Sling, Hulu Live or some other service with more channels than I want or need. I’d gladly pay $20 a month to have it as a standalone. We have Spectrum cable and so far, so good. We had AT&T UVerse which was terrible. Spectrum would have to go a way to match the suckitude of AT&T.

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  44. Bitter Scribe said on March 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    I’ll be really disappointed if it comes down to a choice between Biden and Sanders. Warren is my gal, and I hope she at least lasts until the Illinois primary.

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  45. Joe Kobiela said on March 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    P.J. Called Lizzy a schoolmarm, he must be sexist, and what are the things you all call President Trump? Guess that’s ok, hypocrites.
    Pilot Joe

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  46. David C. said on March 2, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    what are the things you all call President Trump?

    Accurate.

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  47. Jakash said on March 2, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    A+ for David C.

    PJ, if somebody wrote a comment on here stating that airplanes are held aloft by gusts of Unicorn breath, and you gave an explanation of aerodynamics and how jet engines work — would that be “talking down” to them?

    Trump settled a lawsuit for $25 million because his university was a fraud.

    He’s not allowed to operate a charity in New York any longer and had to pay a $2 million dollar fine, because his “foundation” was a fraud.

    He told everybody, repeatedly, that Mexico would pay for the wall, but is using Defense Department money to do so, while Mexico is paying nothing.

    A number of people have gone to jail, found guilty by actual citizens, because of the Russia probe — it’s not a witch hunt. Yet he moans that it is.

    Those things are facts. Like the rules of aerodynamics. Why you base your life on some facts while pretending others don’t exist is curious.

    Trump’s a New Yorker who lives a country-club lifestyle and has an Ivy-League degree but said “I love the poorly educated.” He’s cheated on 3 wives and has flatly stated that he’s never asked God for forgiveness for anything, but claims that the Bible is his favorite book. He lies to people like you about all manner of things many, many times a week. Yet, this you accept, while claiming to be upset that folks on this blog, by telling simple truths are “talking down to you.” Sad!

    It seems that you don’t spell very well. Lots of people don’t. Lots of *smart* people don’t. But when you come here, to a blog visited by a number of writers and editors and those that enjoy good writing, to make inflammatory comments specifically to piss people off, you needn’t be surprised when they notice your spelling.

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  48. Heather said on March 2, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    Calling Trump an idiot and corrupt isn’t sexist. If you said you didn’t like Warren because of her policies, or even if you called her dumb or corrupt, that wouldn’t be sexist. But you said she sounded like a schoolmarm, bringing in the sad, tired trope that women (especially older women) are naggy and whiny–we get tone-policed all the time (it’s happened to me at work) and told our voices are annoying, when we’re just talking. As several people have pointed out, Trump whines in every single speech, but you didn’t call him whiny or schoolmarmish.

    This is the same argument I got into with an older man about why calling Kirsten Gillibrand “a dumb blond bimbo” was sexist. If you think she’s dumb, just call her dumb! But don’t bring her haircolor and the bimbo thing into it.

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  49. Diane said on March 2, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    So Joe, you don’t like it when Trump is called things so that is the behavior you choose to emulate? Weren’t you taught that two wrongs don’t make a right, or as Michelle Obama would advise, to go high when others go low?

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  50. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Ah yes, the “you did it first” defense. Always so effective.

    In other news, based on what happened here over the weekend, I’d advise everyone to restock toilet paper now before Coronavirus hits your town. I don’t really understand why, but the shelves of all the local stores were cleaned out of toilet paper this weekend. Hand sanitizer, sure I get that, but toilet paper? Paper towels? Bottled water? Weird.

    The only explanation I’ve heard for the great TP stock up is “what if I get quarantined for two weeks? I don’t want to run out!” Which doesn’t explain the bottled water.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on March 2, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    I continue to marvel that the tRump cultists embrace him for being “tough” and “telling it like it is.” How many “tough”guys do you know who dye their hair easter egg yellow, swirl it over a bald spot the size of the Sahara, spray their faces a ridiculous shade of orange, wear their neckties down to their ballsack to “hide” their obesity, etc. And “tell it like it is?” He speaks in gibberish. And if you ever tried to diagram a sentence, you’d wind up in Bellevue. Just Google what he has said about the coronavirus. Our dog makes more sense. (And is fitter, nicer and smarter.) Yet it is well within reason he may be elected by the Electoral College.

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  52. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Sherri, when I heard that bottled water was the first thing to sell out, I wondered if people think the virus is going to get in our water supply. At Home Depot this afternoon they were limiting mask sales to 10 boxes per person. We didn’t buy any, we were looking at ceiling fans.

    A+ for you too, Jackash.

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  53. Heather said on March 2, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Apparently now Beto is endorsing Biden. I really don’t get this at all.

    Julie, I think it’s more the concern that so many ill people will mean not enough workers at the water treatment plants, etc. Kind of extreme, yes.

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  54. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Julie, maybe, but that makes no sense. It’s a respiratory infection, not gastrointestinal. It’s not even clear how such a contamination would happen. Our water supply comes from a combination of a reservoir 20 miles from here and local wells that tap into an aquifer.

    But I’m unusual in even knowing where my water comes from, much less knowing as much as I do about well head protection and aquifer modeling and NPDES permits!

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  55. St Bitch said on March 2, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Tulsi votes? No thanks.

    Went to the U of I College of Dentistry in Iowa City today, and asked my student dentist if there’s been any ramping up for corona onset. Not yet, except there’s now a strict doling out of face masks…in the face of severe shortage.

    No more selfie lines for Elizabeth, but here’s hoping she maintains her health, vitality and razor-edged dulcet tones long enough to stay in the race and allow the Warren posse to vote it’s collective heart.

    My own heart will sink if Biden becomes the nominee because….coal miners can be re-trained to write computer code???? Sigh. Still, Veep Stacey Abrams could mend it a little.

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  56. dorothy said on March 2, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    As my son pointed out, if this virus really takes hold and we have to self quarantine, being without toilet paper would be extremely unpleasant. I second that emotion. I can use cloth rags if I can’t get paper towels. Handkerchiefs in place of Kleenex.

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  57. alex said on March 2, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Being called a hypocrite by an illiterate troll doesn’t faze me much. Even if he knew the meaning of hypocrite, which I doubt, it wouldn’t concern me in the least.

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  58. David C. said on March 2, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Our local hardware has a sign out that they have no more facemasks. They’re no damned good at keeping dust out. What do they think they’ll do for an aerosol of spit, phlegm, and virus.

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  59. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Some of the Kirkland firefighters in quarantine are exhibiting symptoms now. A quarter of Kirkland’s firefighters are quarantined. Redmond has about 6 firefighters quarantined, all are symptomatic as on today.

    These are firefighters who responded to calls at the long term care facility which has been hard hit by the virus.

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  60. Mark P said on March 2, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    It’s sounding like the corona virus is pretty easily spread.

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  61. David C. said on March 2, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Were the firefighters tested right away, or did they have time to transmit to others? I can see it spreading in a closed group like firefighters in the same way it’s spreading in the care facility. How many firefighters can you lose before the effectiveness of the rest goes down the tubes? Not that many, I bet. I was listening to a new podcast called “Epidemic” by a doctor and the guy who was Obama’s point person during the Ebola virus epidemic. It’s quite good. They talked about how the time gained with travel restrictions was squandered. The time should have been used to get protective gear to responders and get hospitals up to speed. It wasn’t done.

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  62. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    David C, As far as I know, the firefighters have not been tested. The quarantine was a reaction to a patient from the long term care facility testing positive and multiple cases of respiratory illness being reported there. All firefighters who had responded to calls at that location in the previous week were quarantined then, so yes, it would seem to me the potential exists that they could have exposed others, both other firefighters and other people they responded to, if asymptomatic transmission is a thing.

    Right now, Kirkland is covering all the shifts using overtime. There are also mutual aid agreements with nearby cities, which is why Redmond firefighters were exposed answering a call in Kirkland.

    Twenty-two nursing students and staff from a nearby technical college are also quarantined because they were at the facility, and the technical college is shut down for cleaning right now. But nobody from that group was quarantined prior to Saturday, either.

    The Seattle Times has dropped its paywall for Coronavirus coverage if you want to follow a local source: https://www.seattletimes.com/tag/coronavirus/

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  63. Sherri said on March 2, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Elizabeth Warren can schoolmarm and talk down all day if she gets results like taking out Chris Matthews!!

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  64. Dexter Friend said on March 3, 2020 at 1:28 am

    By now most know regular masks only keep the spreading of the virus . WaPo: <>

    My daughter the nurse practitioner in Las Vegas, Nevada called today, saying the hospital staffs at all hospitals can not get the N95 masks. She said they must be professionally fitted and if they get the least bit wet they are useless. Dust masks people wear when dusting the house are worthless with coronavirus.

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  65. Dexter Friend said on March 3, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Local news ended as I tuned in “Hardball” to be genuinely shocked. Matthews has been in the news lately for comments he made about how great a woman on a panel or in a guest chair looked, quite some time ago, then it was revealed this was his modus operandi when he was getting away with it. So he comes on TV, looking ashen and ghostly, and immediately states he has news, news about him, and says he is retiring. Not at the end of the month, week or even day, but right the hell now. He then throws it to commercial and poor unprepared Steve Kornacki the electoral map man was in command saying “well, we have to kill this hour somehow..”, and he also threw it out to yet another ad. By 8:00 the poor flustered bastard was sobbing as he waved a 30 year old Chris Matthews book about in front of the camera. I think Matthews had the riot act read to him, did not want to hear it, said FUCK YOU! to management, and said goodbye and that,as they say…was that.

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  66. beb said on March 3, 2020 at 3:24 am

    I read an articke that described how the western states were carved up and brought into the union as a way to maintain a Republican control of the Senate. As Sherri pointed out five of these states have less population that a California Congressional district. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to change that, and that’s not going to happen.

    Recently Comcast took Turner Movie Classic out of basic cable and put it in a sports bundle that costs an additional $12 a month. They said it was because not enough people were watching TMC. That has to be BS.

    Sherri@51 — I don;t know people stock up on bottled water unless its because people have been taught that municipal water is a toxic mess and only bottled water is safe. This is crazy because bottled water isn’t nearly as tightly regulated as municipal water. And in case, this disease isn’t water borne. Now is you were preparing for a Hurricane bottled water might make sense, but si is filling up multiple carboys of municipal water.

    Jeff B@51 – I find listening to Trump unbearable and wish the media would stop showing him him lying while summarizing protests against his nonsense. But perversely, I wish the media would show more unedited footage of his incoherent garbage, with maybe a comment afterwards that “we have eight English Majors working to translate what the President said.

    Heather@53 – Democratic Establishment figures hate Sanders with the white hot intense of a million stars. So not only have they been bad-mouthing Bernie but I think they have been working Pete, Amy and Steyer to drop out ahead of Super-Tuesday and endorse Biden in an attempt to head off Berniementum. There’s nothing more damaging than telling the Bernie Bros that their conspiracy theories are real.

    Chris Matthews should have been shown the door a long time before this. Was he fired, or retired is a open question for now. I can’t imagine him ever willingly retiring and suddenness of it all suggests he was giving the choice of leaving voluntarily now or getting canned a New York Minute later.

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  67. ROGirl said on March 3, 2020 at 4:29 am

    Schoolmarm? Really? If she were loud, she would be called shrill and hectoring. She’s intelligent, articulate and serious. She looks the way women of her age look. She wears glasses.

    All of the above also fits me, although I’m not running for president.

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  68. David C. said on March 3, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Bernie has Marianne Williamson stumping for him? JFC. In the middle of a public health emergency he accepts a goddamned anti-vax nut’s endorsement. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/484290-marianne-williamson-endorses-sanders-at-texas-rally

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  69. Joe Kobiela said on March 3, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Bassett,
    You ok down there in Nashville? Heard it was a rough night.
    Pilot Joe

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  70. dexter said on March 3, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Bassett check in please. Germantown and east were hit hard….

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 3, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Praying for blessings and firm footing to Bassett and everyone down in that neck of the woods. Here in east central Ohio we got bounced about 3 am with a bracing round of thunderclaps and ground strikes for twenty minutes. But only rain in its wake.

    Wash your hands and all shall be well.

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  72. basset said on March 3, 2020 at 7:43 am

    We are safe with no damage, thanks for asking… we live in the Bellevue area in the southwest part of Nashville, damage was mostly north and east. 7 dead so far.

    I’m working the election checking voters in, polls countywide are opening an hour late due to storm damage, blocked roads, and power outages.

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  73. diane said on March 3, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I think beb @66 is right. The dem establishment wants to throw support Biden’s way. They think Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Beto supporters will head to Biden. They probably don’t want Warren to stand down yet because they think too many of her supporters will peel off to Bernie (I think the number of Warren supporters that will go to Bernie if she is not in it is lower than than they think). The idea I guess is to avoid a controversial convention.

    But I don’t get the timing and think they are wrong in how they are going about it. Why try to orchestrate a momentum shift because one state, a state that isn’t going to help Dems one iota in the general election, gave Joe a little traction? Remind me again, what were the results in Iowa and New Hampshire?

    How many superTuesday states have early voting? Because every single voter I know in Colorado has already voted (this is not hyperbole, I have no idea about overall percentages but truly, I don’t know anyone here who hasn’t already voted). This is a great way to teach an entire generation of new voters that their vote literally doesn’t matter. Fabulous approach in an election year in which everyone says turnout is the key.

    I’m sure I am missing something (or many things) but that is why I come here. You all always have great insights.

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  74. 4dbirds said on March 3, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Dorothy, for an investment of about $300.00 and maybe a little more if you need an outlet installed near your toilet, please get a BioBidet. It will change your life. Ours attached to the toilet. It has a warm seat and warm water (cold if you prefer) gently cleans your backside at different flows and pressure depending on your choice. My BB has a remote control and also controls on the actual seat. You can even get the option of an air dry. I rarely use TP at all and only to dry. I’ve never felt cleaner. My husband, a real skeptic will now only us that toilet.

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  75. 4dbirds said on March 3, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Did my civic duty and voted for my favorite school marm, Elizabeth. I will actively support, campaign and vote for the democratic candidate no matter who.

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  76. Dorothy said on March 3, 2020 at 8:42 am

    That sounds like an excellent idea for our next home, 4dbirds. I will keep that in mind. We will likely be moving in the next year or two so installing one at this house is not going to happen. It’s a 5 BR house with a tiny master bathroom. We wonder all the time why they built it like they did. The couple we bought it from had 4 kids and we know they were the original owners. When we bought it I suggested that if we had the $$ and time, we should take out the closet in our bedroom, expand the bathroom to include a tub (only a shower and one sink in there now), then knock down the wall of the room perpendicular to ours (it’s over the garage) and make that a walk in closet. The realtor and my hubby thought that would be brilliant. But we never did it. That near room is our office, and of the other three bedrooms, one has a queen bed in it, and the other two are my sewing room and a storage room for my fabric and yarn. Mike calls it ‘the warehouse’.

    Basset I’m so glad you and Mrs. B are okay! Such scary images on the news this morning. We had rain, thunder and lightning around 3 AM and Nestle was beside herself. She has PTSD, I swear, from the tornado last May. Once I lifted my arm out from under the covers and patted her, she settled down behind me and stopped panting.

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  77. Suzanne said on March 3, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I worked as a contractor at a telecom company a number of years ago. I can tell you that customer service is bad because they hire people, give them very little training , and then put them to work even though they had no clue what they are doing. We contractors complained but no one listened until someone accidentally cut off a 911 line. Management was all upset; none of the contractors were the least bit surprised.
    So, now, if I need to call customer service for just about anything, I start by saying that I understand the representative has little training so I understand if they can’t answer my question.

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  78. Jeff Borden said on March 3, 2020 at 10:02 am

    While I’m happy to see another loudmouthed pundit leave the stage, I sure wish Chris Matthews would pull Chuck Todd along with him. Too many of these talking heads are overly concerned with access to newsmakers, so they allow their guests to prattle on and on with lies, half-truths and distortions unchallenged. Todd is among the worst.

    Just about the only adult political discussions available on the tube these days are between Judy Woodruff, Amy Walter and Tamara Keith on PBS’ “Newshour,” but sadly, it is only a weekly appearance.

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  79. Julie Robinson said on March 3, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Basset, glad you’re okay, while mourning the loss of your fellow citizens. Wonder how many won’t make it to the polls because of the storm damage. Diane’s point about the early voters is salient too. It’s become very popular at home, along with absentee.

    BTW the scuttlebutt here in Orlando is that Bob Iger stepped down so suddenly from Disney because he cut a deal to be a Vice President candidate, most likely on Bloomberg’s ticket. I’ve been assuming that Buttigieg and Klobuchar are both angling for that, or a spot in a Biden cabinet.

    Which autocorrect is now changing to bidet. 🙂

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  80. alex said on March 3, 2020 at 10:19 am

    I knew a pretentious queen who named his dog Bizet. I always referred to it as Bidet.

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  81. Deborah said on March 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I’ve been distracted by out of town company and now uncle J, every time I crank up my iPhone there’s major, major news, it’s all happening soooo fast.

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  82. Jakash said on March 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Yeah, after all the time, money, travel, etc. spent campaigning since way back when, dropping out days before (or the day before) Super Tuesday seems pretty suspect.

    We focused mainly on the schoolmarm aspect, but PJ’s original comment mocking the Democratic outcome thus far was also — let me see here — pretty damn *hypocritical*. Gee, the Republicans in 2016 had 17 candidates to choose from and ended up with — how did he put it? — an angry old white guy. Who was also inexperienced, incompetent, temperamentally unsuited to run an animal shelter, let alone the country, and — oh, yeah — a Russian stooge and a crook.

    At one time patriotism required showing up at Lexington and Concord, storming Omaha Beach, etc., risking one’s life in support of the country. At this point, opening one’s eyes, doing a little reading and critical thinking, and admitting that one has been bamboozled by a charlatan would be plenty — but 40% of the citizens, who support the flag-waving party, are unwilling even to do that much.

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  83. nancy said on March 3, 2020 at 11:36 am

    And that, Jakash, is why I snapped at him. I’m just done with that sexist bullshit, and all the other bullshit surrounding the White House these days.

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  84. Sherri said on March 3, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Glad you’re okay, basset.

    I’m not panicking, but I don’t think we have much idea yet how bad Coronavirus is going to be here yet. The next week will tell us a lot. Hopefully, it won’t be a big deal.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/first-days-at-the-heart-of-an-outbreak-life-care-nursing-home-becomes-national-epicenter-of-coronavirus/

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  85. Peter said on March 3, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    David C, are you kidding me? I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose between being associated with Fidel Castro or Marianne Williamson, I’d take Fidel. I think he was a little less loony, six hour speeches notwithstanding.

    And as far as Chris Matthews is concerned, I would give anything to see him pull a Larry David and go back on air tonight like nothing happened. Then get fired.

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  86. Deborah said on March 3, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Off topic, but this is cool, two Irish women architects have won the Pritzker prize, which is the architecture Nobel equivalent. It was founded by the Pritzker family 40 years ago, in all that time only 5 women have won it, and in some of those cases the woman who won shared the prize with a male partner. The women have a firm in Ireland, called Grafton, https://www.graftonarchitects.ie/

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  87. Joe Kobiela said on March 3, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Bassett,
    Looks like John Tune took a direct hit, lucky we didn’t have any planes there last night.
    Pilot Joe

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  88. Connie said on March 3, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Michigan has issued directions on how to spoil your ballot and revote if you early voted for a candidate no longer in the race.

    We used to go to a restaurant in Saugatuck that had a Biobidet in the womens’ handicapped stall. We would stand in line to use it.

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  89. Jeff Borden said on March 3, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I love a play on words. . .ladies and gentlemen, the Surfrajettes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytuoo-WYo58

    This isn’t as weird as the Pokey LaFarge video, lol.

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  90. Sherri said on March 3, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Nine deaths in Washington now. Twelve firefighters with symptoms. Someone who visited the nursing home in Kirkland and then flew back home to North Carolina has tested positive for the virus.

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  91. basset said on March 3, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Afraid so, Joe… we had a voter come through today who works across the street & she says JWN is in bad shape.

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  92. basset said on March 3, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    (translation: John Tune is a small business/private airport, JWN is its airport code name.)

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  93. basset said on March 3, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Looks like traffic has resumed: https://flightaware.com/live/airport/KJWN

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  94. Mark P said on March 3, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    We watched Elizabeth Warren on Ellen Degeneres’s this afternoon. I really like her. I wish she would end up the Democratic nominee, but I doubt that’s going to happen. More’s the pity. I don’t understand why more people don’t like her, and I really don’t understand why people prefer Sanders or Biden to her. The only possible reason I can think of is that they think too many “other” people are too sexist to accept a woman who thinks for herself.

    I would love to see her in a debate with Trump, although I doubt Trump would agree to debate her.

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