Bottom: Still some distance away.

I was going to mention a story about a staff uprising at the Detroit Institute of Arts, but sorry, this happened:

LONDON — The American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told multiple colleagues in February 2018 that President Trump had asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to three people with knowledge of the episode.

The ambassador’s deputy, Lewis A. Lukens, advised him not to do it, warning that it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain, these people said. But Mr. Johnson apparently felt pressured to try. A few weeks later, he raised the idea of Turnberry playing host to the Open with the secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell.

In a brief interview last week, Mr. Mundell said it was “inappropriate” for him to discuss his dealings with Mr. Johnson and referred to a British government statement that said Mr. Johnson “made no request of Mr. Mundell regarding the British Open or any other sporting event.” The statement did not address whether the ambassador had broached the issue of Turnberry, which Mr. Trump bought in 2014, but none of the next four Opens are scheduled to be played there.

I…I…I…I’m speechless. But of course I’m also not speechless, because this is what we expect, right? This is the world we live in now.

Then there’s this guy:

Ohio’s top state lawmaker conspired to funnel tens of millions of dollars from the state’s electric utility to his political allies in order to consolidate power over the state legislature and shepherd through a $1.5 billion bailout for the utility’s nuclear power plants, federal prosecutors alleged on Tuesday.

The FBI arrested Ohio speaker Larry Householder, a Republican, and four alleged co-conspirators and leveled charges of racketeering and bribery related to the scheme. At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers called it “likely the largest bribery [and] money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.”

At the center of the scheme was Householder, who prosecutors say used a nonprofit “dark money” group called Generation Now to funnel money from the utility, First Energy, into state-level political contests. Householder’s goals, DeVillers said, were to pass and preserve a contentious bill to bail out two FirstEnergy nuclear plants, and “to build a power base for Larry Householder.”

Does it ever stop with these guys? I think we all know the answer. Happy hump day. This is the country we live in.

Posted at 8:52 pm in Current events |

65 responses to “Bottom: Still some distance away.”

  1. LAMary said on July 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Trump barely tries to be be sneaky about that shit. In other GOP news, my friend Chris, who is an infection prevention RN in Jacksonville is telling me that it’s already a hot mess there in preparation for the GOP convention. She’s anticipating being busy shortly after the convention, dealing with newly positive tested people showing up in the ER.

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  2. Jim said on July 21, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Kudos to Jeff t.m.m.o on the Householder heads up!

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  3. beb said on July 21, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    The Post Office is supposed to be a public service not some company. But even companies allow overtime to keep their service up to snuff. Banning overtime like the new Postmaster has turned turned 2-day mail delivery into 2 week. It;s going to make a mess of ail-in-voting. But, of course, that is the plan.

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  4. Mark P said on July 21, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    The only thing that surprises me about the second story is that the DOJ is still prosecuting Republicans for corruption.

    In conspiracy news, a friend tells me that a nurse who works in pharma and who “knows things” told her that the Democrats are re-releasing the corona virus to impact the election.

    I can’t help thinking that we have gone so far into the wilderness that we will never find our way back.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2020 at 11:20 pm

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  6. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Will the Illinois speaker be next?

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  7. Dexter Friend said on July 22, 2020 at 4:29 am

    My nephew’s wife posted this story. Chicago, West 79th Street:

    And Trump has targeted Chicago and other cities for rogue troop invasions. It’s ON people.

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  8. ROGirl said on July 22, 2020 at 4:56 am

    Nothing surprises me any more. I can’t even muster up any shock, because the corruption is 100%, 24/7. We still don’t know everything he has done, let alone what he is going to unleash between now and the election.

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  9. LarrytheRed said on July 22, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Good old fashioned political graft. Makes me nostalgic for the Teapot Dome days.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on July 22, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Madigan has made a lot of enemies over the umpteen years he’s held power. He could take a lot of people down with him.

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  11. basset said on July 22, 2020 at 9:26 am

    I fear that this guy may be right:

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    • nancy said on July 22, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Hmm, let’s see: Trump’s blunt pummeling of opponents provides his opponents with an aesthetic argument against him that boils down to: He’s just not nice enough to be president. Their arguments about his “threat to the Constitution” are absurd. Trump has appointed justices and judges faithful to the Constitution. President Barack Obama is the president who ignored the document with wild theories about, to cite just two examples, recess appointments and wholesale suspensions of the laws governing immigration. Trump is the constitutionalist; Biden leads the radicals.

      Actually, I just needed to see the byline to know how bad this would be. Hewitt is a lapdog for these thieves.

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  12. alex said on July 22, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Hewitt and Thiessen are the most noxious of the Post’s token conservatives. Can’t stand them.

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  13. basset said on July 22, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Not saying I agree with him, just that there may be more of the base out there than we think. Back to pickle brine and tofu.

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  14. alex said on July 22, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Plenty of base out there, to be sure. And none of them reading the Washington Post except to troll the comments.

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  15. basset said on July 22, 2020 at 11:32 am

    I keep remembering that oh-shit feeling I got around Halloween of 2016 when I realized that what we didn’t think could ever happen… was about to.

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  16. LAMary said on July 22, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Deborah, I got a bunch of Martha Stewart road trip snack recipes in my email today. Thought you might like this one:

    Correction: it wasn’t Martha Stewart. It was one of the random recipe sites that send me stuff.

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  17. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Of course his base is still out there. They aren’t put off by the corruption or the incompetence, and they love that he’s sending stormtroopers to attack protestors. He still hates all the right people.

    But he barely won 4 years ago. Now the economy is in the tank, unless you’re a big stockholder of a tech company (Jeff Bezos’ gained $13 billion on Monday!), and we’re moving towards over 200,000 dead by fall. Voter suppression is the main tool he has. He’s not capable of addressing the problem of the virus, and he doesn’t understand how to address the problem of the economy. He doesn’t learn and adapt.

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  18. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    When we’re compiling our list of people who should be first against the wall when the revolution comes, don’t forget John Yoo.

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  19. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Who has been the animating force behind the destruction of the USPS? Charles Koch.

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  20. Jakash said on July 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    For the “false equivalence” file:

    “Right-Wingers Moaning About the Left’s Echo Chamber Are a Joke”

    “Let’s look at some basic numbers. The New York Times … has three regular conservative oped columnists. … The Washington Post has five regularly appearing conservatives.”

    “Meanwhile, let’s look at our country’s best-known conservative newspapers. There are three that have national audiences and are avowedly conservative in outlook: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and the New York Post. How many liberals do they have? Three each, like the Times? OK, two each, maybe? No. One. Among them. Total. The Journal has one, and the other two have zero.”

    Also, here’s a funny version of a legendary meme:

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  21. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    1. Mike Madigan is the most powerful man in Illinois and is almost universally loathed even by Dems. You’ll be able to hear the cheers all the way up to Canada if he is finally taken out.

    2. Larry Householder and the Ohio GOP pissed on the citizens they were elected to represent by bailing out an energy company for pennies on the dollar with taxpayer money. As I’ve noted earlier, I don’t recognize Ohio any more.

    3. Hugh Hewitt is a twit’s twit. Along with Marc Thiessen and that ol’ country editor from Ohio Gary Abernathy, they make up the Holy Trinity of absolute hogwash. U.S. business executives aided and abetted by favorable tax laws they lobbied to pass are responsible for relocating American manufacturing to China and beyond. They’re the “elites” who have really fucked Joe Sixpack, not the tweedy academics and other stereotypes Hewitt and his ilk manufacture.

    I just lost a friend of more than 25 years because I chided him on Facebook for passing along conspiracy theories that Dems are sitting on a cure for Covid-45 and will unveil it after Biden is elected. He sent me an email throbbing with rage and vitriol dubbing me a “liberal elitist” and describing himself as a “patriot” willing to stand up against Nancy Pelosi, who he described with the ‘C’ word. It was such a nasty email it shook me to think I thought I actually knew this guy.

    How funny to think it was only 12 years ago I was convinced I’d never see another president as horrible as W. How very, very wrong.

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  22. LAMary said on July 22, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    W looks great compared to trump. I think one thing he had that trump lacks is empathy. I find trump’s complete lack of empathy disgusting, especially at a time when it’s needed like never before.

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  23. Colleen said on July 22, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    LAMary,I agree. And with W, I felt like he was doing what he felt best for the nation, even if I didn’t happen to think so. Trump is just soulless and evil. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone but himself. I read Mary Trump’s book over the weekend. That is one messed up family. Trump has been enabled from the word go, and now we are all paying for it.

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  24. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Let’s not overstate W’s empathy. Let’s remember Katrina, and his mocking a woman condemned to death. Just because he wasn’t as bad as the current occupant doesn’t make him a wonderful human being.

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  25. susan said on July 22, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    b-bbb-bbbbbut, Sherri, W paints portraits of doggies; and paintings of his feet while he soaks in the bathtub.

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  26. LAMary said on July 22, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Not saying W was wonderful. He was just on this side of trump and Hitler on a scale of horrible.

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  27. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Speaking of Katrina, ocean temps in the Atlantic are quite high. We’re heading into hurricane season. Florida’s already a COVID disaster; add a hurricane or two, and what’s going to happen?

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  28. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    And there’s more to the Woody Johnson story, the ambassador Trump wanted to steer to British Open to Turnberry. Shocking, I know, but old Woody, also owner of the N.Y. Jets, is racist and misogynist!

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  29. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm


    I’ve read stories about fears a hurricane would strike the area around Houston, creating a “coronacaine” that would overwhelm an entire region already dealing with a massive health emergency. Clearly, Florida fits the same description. Man, our nation is in peril on so many fronts it’s difficult to comprehend all the dangers. Hurricane striking a coronavirus-infected state or unidentified federal agents in unmarked vehicles grabbing protesters or an economic collapse or the ongoing train wreck in the Oval Office. . .take your pick.

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  30. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    A powerlifting friend of mine lives near Portland. She’s more conservative than me, a gun owner, but probably not a Trump supporter. Her self-confessed priors on the Portland protests were that the protestors probably deserved what they were getting.

    Then someone invited her to come to the protest, and she did. Now she’s practically become radicalized! She’s seen for herself that peaceful protestors are being tear gassed, that Portland isn’t being destroyed by rioters and looters, but government thugs are threatening the rights of grandmas handing out cookies. Some of her FB friends are struggling with this turn, and still talk about Portland as a shithole.

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  31. Jim said on July 22, 2020 at 7:29 pm


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  32. Jakash said on July 22, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    My daily NYT email today led off with this:

    “The Trump campaign is spending millions on ads that promote a dark and exaggerated portrayal of Democratic-led cities, a tactic that reinforces his ‘law and order’ campaign message.”

    I mean, I realize that Cult 45 is unreachable, but are there a lot of suburban “swing” voters who aren’t aware of the fact that Trump is the most blatant criminal in the history of the office? Marking his election by settling a $25-million lawsuit for Trump University fraud. Ordered to pay $2 million to settle the case with regard to Trump Foundation fraud. Impeached and essentially an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Russia probe. Paid hush money to Stormy Daniels. Corruptly pardoning or commuting the sentences of his criminal accomplices when they actually are held accountable. Etc., etc., etc.

    Deciding that “law and order” is the message he needs to push, because he’s got nothing else, is really grasping at straws. Uh, ’cause he’s a criminal, himself. If only I could be sure that it won’t work.

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  33. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    There are going to be 200K dead from the pandemic by the time we vote. Law and order won’t change that.

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  34. Deborah said on July 22, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    One of the Johnson wax family heirs in WI, was charged as a pedophile. He raped his stepdaughter multiple times when she was around 13 or 14. I don’t know if he’s a brother of the British ambassador or what. But the family has issues.

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  35. Deborah said on July 22, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Ok, I was wrong the pedophile is from the SC Johnson family hard to keep them apart.

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  36. LAMary said on July 22, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    I think Robert Wood Johnson is from the Johnson and Johnson company. SC Johnson is the wax company. They also make Windex.

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  37. LAMary said on July 22, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    I got an ad on Facebook for a company that will make a golf club cover that looks like your pet if you send them a photo. If that had existed twenty years ago I could have sent them photos of my kids and had golf club covers made for their dad. Since he usually traveled during the week, came home on Friday and went to his friend’s house to play pool Friday night, then played golf all weekend, his little club covers would remind him of his offspring.

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  38. Sherri said on July 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    I would assume that utilities like electricity and water are provided to the Mark Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland by the City of Portland. Maybe Mayor Ted Wheeler should shut off the power and water to the thugs.

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  39. Jim said on July 22, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Albequerque’s long nightmare will soon be over.

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  40. Deborah said on July 23, 2020 at 4:35 am

    Albuquerque has a repressive police force, they’re trigger happy. Lots of stories in NM about them shooting and beating up citizens.

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  41. ROGirl said on July 23, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Someone at work downloaded Hamilton to a jump drive for me. I have a Roku, so I can watch it on TV, but I watched it on my computer yesterday at work.
    I have been listening to the music for several years, so seeing it performed was a spectacular experience. While I was watching it I wasn’t thinking about the horrendous things going on in the world.

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  42. Deborah said on July 23, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Trump can’t shut up about his cognitive test and the way he describes how amazed the drs were about his ability to answer the questions is idiotic.

    Only 24 hours more in Chicago, I wish we were staying longer, the weather has been terrific. But it will get hot and humid again so it’s a good thing to go back to high altitude, dry NM until summer is over.

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  43. Jim said on July 23, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Heh. Trump’s cognitive pride reminded me of this from SNL.

    Fran Tarkenton: [ puts his arm around Belushi ] This is John Belushi. Until recently, John was an actor of some promise. Then drugs destroyed his mind. But your dollars have helped. Through care and dedication, John has been rehabilitated to the point where he… sees shadows, and can name three countries. Go ahead, John.

    John Belushi: Belgium… Belgium… and Kansas City…

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  44. basset said on July 23, 2020 at 9:52 am

    reminds me of a blonde joke…

    “What’s farther away, the moon or Kansas City!”

    “Well, duhhh! Kansas City! You can SEE the moon!”

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  45. Suzanne said on July 23, 2020 at 11:08 am

    This Twitter thread is an excellent summary of how we got here and why it’s impossible to change some people’s minds.

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  46. jcburns said on July 23, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Patrick Skinner. Savannah native. Former CIA officer. Policeman and detective in his home town, and, for my money, a darn good op-ed writer:

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  47. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    From New York Magazine, an article about several things:

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  48. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Another spice grinder for poppy seeds to consider:

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  49. Sherri said on July 23, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I find it fascinating that so much more attention is being paid to Ted Yoho calling AOC a fucking bitch (which, in his non-apology, he says wasn’t directed at her but just at the world, or something) than to his calling her disgusting, which he unquestionably did, to her face.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on July 23, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Mary Trump is on Fresh Air; I’ve only caught a bit in between errands but plan on listening later. She sounds bitter.

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  51. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    The word “disgusting” stood out for me too. I guess fucking bitch has become familiar. I liked her explanation of what was wrong with the so called apology. I find Sen. Yoho pretty disgusting, but among GOP senators he’s not a standout. He’s got some serious competition for most disgusting human being who’s won a GOP senate seat.

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  52. Peter said on July 23, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    LA Mary, Ted “Yahoo” Yoho is a representative, not a senator. Although with Florida’s senators being Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, it was an honest mistake. And he’s still a disgusting human being, but he’s competing with Matt Gaetz, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert, so he might not even medal.

    The best I’ve heard about the cognitive test, by far: Obama didn’t spend half as much time bragging about his Nobel Peace Prize than Trump is praising his results of a dementia test.

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  53. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the correction, Peter. I was a little too multi tasky at that moment, on hold with CA unemployment for over an hour. The legislators you named are all worthy of the word disgusting. Rick Scott is responsible for the largest Medicare fraud fine ever. He accomplished this while at HCA so that might get him extra credit. Inhofe from Oklahoma brought a snowball to the floor to prove global warming was a hoax was good too. He claimed global warming was a created by The Weather Channel to improve ratings.

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  54. Peter said on July 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    LA Mary, when you mentioned Inhoffe and Scott, it made me think that we’ve got quite the collection of yahoos in that chamber.

    Years ago I had a coworker who graduated from Arizona State. He told me that people think the Coen film Raising Arizona is a comedy, but it’s a documentary. I mention that because I keep thinking about the Monty Python sketch with election results between the Sensible Party and the Silly Party. Talk about predicting the future….

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  55. beb said on July 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    As with most things, Trump’s obsession with his cognitive test is troubling. But understandable. Trump father died with Alzheimer’s and I imagine that Donald is afraid he, too, will get it and becomes a laughable idiot. So proving that he is a “stable genius” is important to him. But also there’s that weird emergency trip to Walter Reed last fall. It could have been a heart attack, it could have been a stroke, If the latter doctors would want to administer a cognitive test to see how badly the stroke affected him. So as I see it, all this crowing about passing this test is Trump reassuring himself that he’s not going senile. That he has to reassure hisself is not reassuring to the rest of us, though.

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  56. Deborah said on July 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Yes, it’s the opposite of reassuring. Every single day it gets worse and worse. And yet his supporters keep worshiping their dear leader. Something is desperately wrong with him, and them for turning a blind eye on his evilness.

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  57. Deborah said on July 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Suzanne, that Twitter thread link you shared about how we got here was a good one. How do we turn that around. Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson, they’re disgusting grifters. They can’t claim they weren’t aware of unintended consequences like Zuckerberg continually tries to do. They know exactly what they’re doing and why, and it isn’t for the good of our country.

    LB has given me some unfortunate news from Santa Fe. Our neighbors at the house next door to the south have cut down 2 trees which were providing shade for our building. They weren’t great trees, we call them weed trees but still they helped cool things down in the afternoons. We’re going to plant some fast growing Austrian pines which might help in about 5 years.

    I’m enjoying the last afternoon in Chicago until mid September. Another nice weather day.

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  58. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Peter, You mean the one where Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel won? I’m also a fan of Jethro Q. Walrustitty. At the first recruiting job I had I created resume and profile in the database for Kevin Phillips Bong.

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  59. Icarus said on July 23, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    with all this rampant unemployment, I had a crazy thought. If employers had to pay their ex-employees health insurance until that employee got a new job, we’d have single payer, healthcare for all overnight!

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  60. Dexter Friend said on July 23, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Republicans held up announcing their stimulus II package, undoubtedly because they have members who want it trimmed back.
    Horrible republican Presidents are ranked by the opinion holder. I still have Reagan the lead horse, then Trump, then Bush43. Bush43 was horrid, a man who turned the world against the USA, with basically only Tony Blair supporting Bush’s every move. There were huge worldwide demonstrations against the USA when Bush43 was in charge. Reagan’s transgressions were much more secretive, killing millions in South and Central America by supporting right-wing murderous thugs against civilians. Reagan’s presidency was pure failure. Bush43 turned the USA into an isolationist nation. Trump has basically transformed this country into a shambles, a divided nation, and a laughingstock to the world. And today his party took Jacksonville away from him.

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  61. Sherri said on July 23, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Our local school district just threw in the towel on trying to do a hybrid model this fall in light of rising virus numbers and announced today that school will be remote only. Several other districts, including Seattle Public Schools, announced the same yesterday.

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  62. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Reagan also made Rupert Murdoch a citizen after only one year of US residency and abolished the law the prevented one company owning a newspaper and another medium in one city. Like owning the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and a Fox station in NYC for instance. Reagan gave us Fox who begat Trump. I keep asking Reagan fans for one good thing he did and all I get is “he was so positive.”

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  63. LAMary said on July 23, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    For all the disinfecting wipe and Lysol spray seekers here I just got an ad from a company called Brooklyn Equipment hawking Clorox and Lysol wipes and spray.

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  64. alex said on July 23, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Reagan was quite a sweet-talker. Which is why I would urge some caution as regards the Lincoln Project. Its principals love the skullduggery but wish their current pitchman knew when to shut the fuck up.

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