A vulnerable moment.

Today’s census factoid: On any given day in Detroit, 72 percent of the population is smoking weed.

Actually, that’s true of the rest of southeast Michigan, too. It’s legal, so no biggie, but it’s still a little surprising for anyone who remembers the illegal days. Some people open the door and it’s just: Whoa. The good news is, it sometimes works to my advantage. I closed two cases the other night with people who were glassy-eyed. Others are plainly in fuck-off-Karen mode. I try not to have hard feelings. Sometimes that, too, is hard.

But the days pass, the shift ends, the dinner arrives.

So much news. So much, much news. In just the last few hours, the Justice Department decided that when the president said, well, it seems to go like this:

In a highly unusual legal maneuver, the Department of Justice moved on Tuesday to replace President Trump’s private lawyers and defend him against a defamation lawsuit brought in a New York state court by the author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

Lawyers for the Justice Department said in court papers that Mr. Trump was acting in his official capacity as president when he denied ever knowing Ms. Carroll and thus could be defended in court by government lawyers — in effect underwritten by taxpayer money.

Citing a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act, the department lawyers asserted the right to take the case from Mr. Trump’s private lawyers and move the matter from state court to federal court. The law gives employees of the federal government immunity from lawsuits, though legal experts said that it has rarely, if ever, been used before to protect a president.

Unbelievable. And yet: Believable. The corruption isn’t even slightly under wraps anymore.

Bigger post planned for later in the week. Stay tuned.

Posted at 9:58 pm in Uncategorized |

85 responses to “A vulnerable moment.”

  1. LAMary said on September 8, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    His followers, I can’t call them supporters, they’re cult followers, won’t care. They will just say it’s justified because people are out to get him.

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  2. Sherri said on September 8, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    This tells me that trump has run out of sources of money. There’s no Robert Mercer or Sheldon Adelson throwing money at him or his campaign anymore. Guess the Russians think they get a better bang for their buck spreading disinformation than bailing out trump.

    Which is why I think trump is going down. Nobody’s going to save him, it’s going to be everybody for themselves.

    And Bill Barr may be worse than Mitch McConnell.

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  3. Mark P said on September 8, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    You read and see all this stuff and come to believe it, but it takes a while to internalize it. I knew from childhood that people lie, but I was about 25 before it finally sunk in that someone can stand in front of you and lie to your face. I had a similar epiphany today when the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said as many as a thousand people had voted twice in a primary election, and I realized I don’t believe him. I truly believe he’s lying. Now I no longer believe anything anyone in the executive branch says, or anything any Republican says. I know, old news, but it’s one thing to say it and another to internalize it fully.

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  4. Deborah said on September 8, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    Amen Sherri, McConnel is awful but Barr is horrendous. I keep slapping my forehead in disbelief.

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  5. Brandon said on September 9, 2020 at 1:00 am

    I just found out that Manti Te`o got married.

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  6. Brandon said on September 9, 2020 at 1:17 am

    Better link here.

    Big ups to Manti Te’o … the NFL player found VERY REAL love after the world’s worst catfish incident — and he’s officially a married man!

    The 29-year-old ex-Notre Dame superstar swapped “I Do’s” with longtime girlfriend Jovi Nicole Engbino on the beach in La Jolla, CA.

    The couple kept the ceremony super small due to the COVID pandemic — but plan to have a bigger celebration with family and friends once it’s safe.

    “I couldn’t give you the world but I think I did better,” Te’o said on social media … “I gave you my last name and it looks good on you Mrs. Te’o.”

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  7. Dexter Friend said on September 9, 2020 at 3:02 am

    Joy Reid popped in on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show with the best exposure take-down of Barr yet to date. For me, the best of the day was Cohen telling Rachel how he still doesn’t get how he was made scapegoat, as he was not the one who had “the affair, it was Trump!”. Trump signed one check and Donny signed the second one. John Heilemann later said he worries Trump has already become king and has plans to not give up the job as he believes he deserves to be King of America for life. Months ago I learned that if any demented weirdo like Trump pulls shit like that, the Secret Service goes in and physically dumps the fucker into a curbside dumpster.
    Trump Pence signs are everywhere around here, but only 2 yard signs for Biden. But it’s always been like that here, as in all rural/small town/farming area towns.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on September 9, 2020 at 3:38 am

    I think the crazies will fight this local ordinance: “No signs
    The City of Bryan is enforcing a zoning ordinance — 1163.04(e)(B) — that forbids placing temporary political signs outside until 30 days prior to an election, or Oct. 6 this year. Residents who are cited have 48 hours to remove their sign, or the city will remove it. Mayor Carrie Schlade said no one political party or issue is being specifically targeted.
    The City of Bryan is cracking down on enforcement of an ordinance stating political signs can only be up 30 days before an election.
    Mayor Carrie Schlade said the ordinance has been in place for several years and people are currently getting tagged by the engineer’s office for compliance.”

    Hay Carrie? How about arresting the goddam assholes driving shitty old pickup trucks and new sporty cars all hours flying supersized Trump Pence flags?

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  9. beb said on September 9, 2020 at 4:50 am

    The DOJ’s claim that Trump was speaking in his official capacity when he denied knowing Ms Carroll is hard to believe but all it takes is a Republican judge like Neiomi Reo to agree with the DOJ and Trump’s rape accusation goes away. We have fallen through the looking glass into a permanant Opposites Day. McConnel has been a treasonous little weasel all this time, and makes a good case for just dissolving the Senate and going with a unicameral legislation. But Barr’s behavior makes McConnoll look like a piker. He needs to be horsewhipped within an inch of his life, and them some.

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  10. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 5:10 am

    It’s a bit after 3am in Santa Fe and it’s snowing. The ground is white, 34°.

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  11. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

    It’s so depressing to see all of the green leafy trees and plants with snow on them. And thinking about all of the venders at the farmers market who will lose their crops, makes me want to cry. This is so freaky, first when the pandemic started so many people wanted gardens and got into growing plants, and now a lot of the greenery is going to die. We needed rain sure and now we’re getting 2 days of precipitation, but the wrong kind. I wonder what fall will look like this year, I can’t imagine that there will be a golden glow of aspens and cottonwoods.

    Not to mention the depressing Trump and Barr situation and meanwhile the pandemic rages on. Gloomy.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on September 9, 2020 at 10:04 am

    People who called Obama immoral, the Antichrist, etc., because he liked Beyonce, don’t even blink at the prospect of their tax money (and mine) being used to defend Trump against a woman who says he raped her.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on September 9, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Beach volleyball player Keri Walsh Jennings proclaims herself brave for going shopping without a mask. https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/09/09/kerri-walsh-jennings-mask-criticism. Walsh Jennings on consenting to wear a mask: “It’s maddening. It has crushed our society, people’s livelihoods, our children’s spirits, & the fabric of our world”.

    Her apology for upsetting people includes this straight from Faux News thought: “we have to stay mindful of the FACT that our freedoms have slowly been taken from us with our consent.”

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  14. Heather said on September 9, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Compare how the NY Times refers to this latest instance of DOJ corruption compared to Clinton meeting AG Lynch on the tarmac:

    “The Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting ‘provoked a political furor’ and may have ‘compromised the Justice Department’s politically sensitive investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices.’

    Trump turning the DOJ into his personal libel attorney is an ‘unusual move.'”


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  15. Mark P said on September 9, 2020 at 11:22 am

    beb, I’m with you on a unicameral legislature. I think I might go with a parliamentary system as well. We could be rid of Trump with that system.

    Some people say the NYT is liberal. Hahahahahahahahah …. wait I need to go find my ass.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 9, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Mark P, I found the awareness of lying came in stages. It took me longer than 25 to realize that sweet little old ladies who looked like my grandmother could lie, consciously, looking you in the ye, with malice aforethought. My more recent internal work has been to sort out the reaction I now tend to have in disbelieving pretty much everyone without some form of external confirmation.

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  17. Jim said on September 9, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Watching coverage of the Bob Woodward book (next week release date). He has 18 recorded interviews with tRump as part of his background material.

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  18. susan said on September 9, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Here’s the link to a Costa and Rucker WaPo piece on the book. Cripes. What will it take to take down that monster and his monstrous cult-followers? After four years of this $h!†, and nothing.

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  19. Sherri said on September 9, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    If you can turn your head away from the trump disasters for a moment, consider what is probably heading your way because of Mitch McConnell and his refusal to act to bail out states and cities. I was talking to our mayor last week. This is a budget year. Cities and states have to produce balanced budgets, because we can’t print money. Redmond is facing a $21 million deficit thanks to the economic impacts of the pandemic, more than 10% of out budget. No help will come from the state, which last I heard was looking at a $8 billion deficit. There’s a good chance your city and state is looking at a deficit as well.

    The city has to adopt the budget before the end of the year; it will go to council on October 6. Most of the cities around here are on this budget cycle. Take a look and find out if yours is, too. The state budget cycle is next year; this year is an election year.

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  20. Scout said on September 9, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Lordy, there are tapes.

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  21. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    The Woodward book is a bombshell, and there are tapes as we all know now. How can Trump pull through this? Who would vote for the bastard after what has come out about what he’s said about the military and the virus, and all of the previous sexual stuff. If his fucking base is still enthralled they are even more disgusting than I thought. If Republican senators and congress people don’t speak up now, they’re just proving beyond a doubt how despicable they are and always have been.

    The thing is Trump had no idea how damning what he was saying would be. The guy is an imbecile and a monster. He thought he was helping himself by what he said to Woodward. Mind boggling.

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  22. Jakash said on September 9, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    So, there’s certainly quite a feeding frenzy over the tapes of Il Douché admitting in February that he realized how serious Covid 19 was. But, some of the lefty folks I look at on Twitter are also featuring a “Fuck Bob Woodward” component, for sitting on these tapes for months and now using them to hype his book.

    a.) If these had been released in Feb., would it have made any difference, given the fact that Trump would probably not have created a national strategy to deal with the situation, regardless, and that his cult members don’t care about any information they don’t like?

    b.) Do the writers/journos here think holding these tapes was unethical and that Woodward “has blood on his hands?”

    c.) The title of Nancy’s current post is “A vulnerable moment.” Here’s hoping that these revelations create such for our Maximum Leader, though I’m not holding my breath, given all that’s gone before.

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  23. Dorothy said on September 9, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    I would think that the majority of the people who knew and reported about the pandemic (i.e. Fauci, Birx, Redlenner, other scientists and epidemiologists, anyone with a brain and common sense) was already saying that this pandemic was extremely dangerous, it was reported hourly about the cases in NYC, California, Texas, meat packing plants, nursing homes, etc. – the death count was climbing outlandishly – and yet Trump still continued to downplay it. We all KNEW he was downplaying it. Would Woodward’s revelations have done anything to change anyone’s minds? I seriously doubt it. Blaming Bob Woodward for withholding tapes of Trump’s own voice saying that he downplayed it is pointless. It would not have changed anything. The damage was already done – by Trump and all of his enablers.

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  24. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    As Jakash said about Woodward holding onto info for his book, it’s an interesting ethical question but I’m afraid it will dilute the horror of Trump’s bottomless behavior. Yes Woodward should have revealed it sooner and saved lives but don’t let that get in the way of the fact that the president of the United States of America lied and obfuscated the deadly dangers of the situation for his own gain politically.

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  25. James said on September 9, 2020 at 3:08 pm


    The Democrats’ Pied Piper strategy is still in play. Crazy Bad Orange Man Trump enables them to terrorize their base into voting for another center-right tool of Wall Street and the war state. And the rare public figure who goes 3rd party gets ritualistically pilloried.
    Quote Tweet

    Aaron Rupar
    · 17h
    Trump endorses this message twitter.com/susansarandon/…

    Susan Sarandon
    · 23h
    Standing by @ProudSocialist and respect his courage in sharing his journey over the past few years. We need more Ryan Knights to stand up and speak truth to power every single day.
    3:57 PM · Sep 8, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

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    • nancy said on September 9, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      What is your point, James? That Tulsi got a raw deal? I’m really baffled by this passive-aggressive trolling that you do here.

      Also, can you explain why you and Brandon have the same IP address? Are you neighbors, or the two halves of one personality?

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  26. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    OMG, have you seen pictures of the sky in the Bay Area this morning? Astonishing! Orange and dark from the fires, and late morning too. Climate change is a bitch.

    Meanwhile it’s 38 degrees at 1:22 in Santa Fe, NM on 09.09.2020.

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  27. Icarus said on September 9, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Finally, on Rachel Maddow’s television show tonight, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen confirmed something that many of us have suspected all along. “Trump never thought he was going to win this election, he actually did not want to win this election,” Cohen said. “This was a branding deal. That’s all that the presidential campaign started out as, this was a branding opportunity in order to expand worldwide.” Heather Cox Richardson

    Given how much stuff has been coming out about Trump the closer we get to election day (not that we are surprised based on previous three and half years), is it possible he’s purposely trying to not get re-elected but in his twisted mind frame it as he didn’t lose per se but it was rigged against him?

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  28. beb said on September 9, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Jakash, roughly 40% of this country believe it is more important to own the libs because: freedom, then it is to have a sane and sensible federal government. So there is nothing that Trump can do that will offend this portion of the country.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on September 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm


    I thought it was lousy of John Bolton to avoid testifying to Congress because he wanted to pump up interest in his forthcoming book and, yeah, I think it’s lousy Woodward waited to reveal this until it would primp his book sales. Blood on his hands? No. Nothing ever changes tRumpy’s behavior and nothing ever will. I’d need to know the ground rules between him and tRumpy before they began the interviews. Perhaps there was a deal that nothing would be revealed until the book was about to be published?

    There’ve been some excellent books written by authors who kept what they learned private until book publication. “A Season on the Brink” by John Feinstein stands out, for example. But Woodward is an associate editor at the Washington Post. He still considers himself a working journalist. The revelation the preznit knew in March how awful the coronavirus was going to be would’ve been a pretty substantial scoop.

    I suppose it doesn’t matter much. The cult of tRump is largely immovable. They will ignore this book as they have ignored all previous examinations of his diseased *presidency. They’re going to ride the crazy train to its terminus.

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  30. Sherri said on September 9, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    There are too many people who are more afraid of AOC than they are of Trump.

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  31. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    I kinda want to see the new Dune movie. I read the book back in the early 80s and then saw the David Lynch movie of it. I’m not a big science fiction fan but I did like the original book, I tried to read a sequel but couldn’t get into it. This new movie looks pretty violent but it’s a violent story.

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  32. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    However, I won’t be going to a movie theater to see the new Dune. I won’t be going to any movies until the virus is long past us, whenever that is.

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  33. LAMary said on September 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Wasn’t the old Dune movie kind of a POS? I was working at DDL Foodshow, a vanity project of Dino De Laurentis’ at the time. His daughter was a producer or something at the filming location in Mexico and I had to regularly ship coolers full of Italian cheeses and meats to her. Dino would get angry at the expense but he still told me to do it.

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  34. tajalli said on September 9, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Well, first hand from the SF Bay Area (I’m in the East Bay), yesterday the sun was a dark orange disk at 8am (sunrise at 6:45am) and all day the light was dim, similar to when we have a full eclipse. Monday night was very windy from the north, so cool air and smoke overnight.

    This morning’s walk (Wed) at 7:30am was in full dark, with a bit of very dark orange sky similar to light pollution at night. Needless to say, no visible sun disk and it progressed to getting darker and darker up through ~9:30am, stayed constant until about 12noon and is now a whitish orange at 1:45pm with streetlights still on.

    Everything and everybody has been very quiet, no birds, no people walking through the courtyard, everyone hunkered down. The smoke is higher up with a lower breeze of relatively fresh air coming from the ocean – still pretty smokey but breathable. Very eerie, though.

    I know folks living in the north Bay who were burnt out from fires last month, escaping with only the clothes they were wearing and their animals. Very topsy-turvy times.

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  35. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    The Lynch directed Dune movie was panned, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

    It’s 39 degrees at 3:20pm and the snow finally all melted. We’re wearing light jackets inside, but because it was 90 degrees 48 hours ago the building retained a lot of heat and doesn’t require cranking up the heaters. It would be a perfect time to have a fire in the fireplace but we’re scheduled to have the chimney swept Friday, so not supposed to have a fire that close to the sweeping.

    Our chimney in Abiquiu needs cleaning but because we don’t have electricity for vacuuming it’s hard to find a company that will come out and do it. I watched a DYI video of how to do it and it’s not that hard if you have the right tools. It’s the mess that’s off putting. Our wood burning stove is tiny, also we’re not there much of the winter and when we are it gets warm enough from the sun so it only gets used in the early morning, evening and then loaded up with wood before we go to bed. Only on really cold nights does someone (my husband) have to get up in the wee hours and refill it.

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  36. Jakash said on September 9, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    A brief look at the alternate reality relished by Cult 45. The president admitting that he wanted to “play down” a virus that has killed 200,000 Americans is “not a bombshell.”

    “Big Media/Twitter hive mind getting very upset that people outside bubble don’t adopt their view of what’s a bombshell. First the Atlantic hoax and now this. This cycle will repeat itself over and over again not just through the election but (if re-elected) the next Trump term.”

    “Crying wolf” seems to be the favored metaphor among the cult.

    This exchange takes the cake, though:

    “You know what counts as a ‘bombshell’ outside of the DC Beltway? Nancy Pelosi strolling around inside a hair salon without a mask.”

    “Her hair appointment and designer ice cream is what my family not on social media are still talking about.”


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  37. Icarus said on September 9, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Deborah @ 31 – Dune just doesn’t translate well to a Stand-alone movie. Dune has so much to explain, and so much of it is hidden even from the characters in the story. When a movie tries to handle exposition, the movie slows down.

    It would be better to have a TV or in our current times, Streaming Service create a series about it.

    fun fact: The sudhakar from Dune were the influence for the Storm Troopers in Star Wars

    Yes I am a geek.

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  38. Icarus said on September 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand didn’t cause World War 1, it was actually his gender reveal party that started the whole thing.


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  39. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    I think they are making a Dune series, or at least that’s the plan for now as I understand it.

    Dinner tonight, green chile lime roast chicken. Having green chiles as much as possible before we go back to Chicago next week.

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  40. Jason T. said on September 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Nancy at 25 says: “Also, can you explain why you and Brandon have the same IP address? Are you neighbors, or the two halves of one personality?”

    I see no evidence that either of them has a personality.

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  41. Scout said on September 9, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Well, I’ll bet that Michael Cohen is pissed that Bob Woodward just took away all the tell-all oxygen in the room.

    I noticed all the trumpy spokesliars are trying to downplay the downplay news by amplifying the Nobel Prize nomination which was submitted by a far-right Norwegian nutjob. Yeah, sure, the guy who’s criminal negligence killed 200k Americans should get a Nobel. Good luck with that, buddy.

    I am very disappointed in ‘James’, especially if he is someone we trusted.

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  42. alex said on September 9, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    I used to think that Brandon and passive-aggressive Danny were one and the same and even called them out on it a time or two. My suspicions remain.

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  43. LAMary said on September 9, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    I remember being creeped out by Danny saying he would watch Sarah Palin’s youngest daughter eat Halloween candy for hours. So much about that statement was icky.

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  44. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    I think Brandon lives in Hawaii and is a big Madonna fan, and Danny lived in San Diego but who knows. Don’t know about James. Also Brandon seemed to know Hattie, a former commenter here from Hawaii who died a few years ago. I liked Hattie.

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  45. Brandon said on September 9, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Also, can you explain why you and Brandon have the same IP address? Are you neighbors, or the two halves of one personality?

    It turns out that James is a neighbor of mine, unemployed, whose computer is on the fritz. He’d usually go down to the library to use the computer, but the libraries here are closed to the public because of COVID-19. He asked if he could use my computer to check his e-mail. I guess he found the nancynall tag and began commenting that way. Yes, he’s a Bernie guy, and does think Tulsi was done wrong. He thinks Trump and Biden are both lousy, just in different ways.

    As for myself, when I post, I post mainly non-political things, like the item about Manti Te`o getting married. I’m not James, danny, Pilot Joe, or anyone else but me. It was through Hattie (Marianna Scheffer) that I found this blog several years ago. What I learned is not to let someone use your computer unattended.

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  46. Dorothy said on September 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    I know that Nancy recognizing the same IP address was used for both James and Brandon is not exactly spy level stuff, but I still want to nominate her for the Nancy (Nall) Drew award. Excellent detective work – George and Bess would be so proud!

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  47. jcburns said on September 9, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Nancy Drew, that’s that show that was on the CW, right…?

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  48. Ann said on September 9, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    On realizing that people will lie to your face. It’s amazing how many clients I had over the years who believed they could prove their case by putting the other party on the stand under oath and then they’d have to admit whatever they’d done. A nice idea, but nope.

    Unrelated to this thread, but a continuing topic, a good discussion of the Georgia sex trafficking ring story here. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/government-did-not-break-up-child-sex-trafficking-ring-georgia_n_5f52b7a1c5b6946f3eb1c5d9

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  49. Sherri said on September 9, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    2020-when a fundraising gala that had to go virtual due to a pandemic has to be postponed because of a devastating wildfire.

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  50. dull_old_man said on September 9, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    LAMary, did you know Tony Ripley? That would mean it is a small world. He still talked about water rights in the West when I met him in the ’80s.

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  51. Deborah said on September 9, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I watched the Charlie Kaufman movie, “I’m thinking of ending things” for the second time on Netflix. It’s typical Kaufman, engaging and weird but puzzling. Excellent cast.

    Glad this depressing day is over.

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  52. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 12:22 am

    I did not know Tony Ripley. My boss might have. I was just the college kid who did the expense reports and kept up files on topics we were following. I had to read all the newspapers from the Rocky Mountain Region and clip articles that had to do with water, coal slurry pipelines, Kaiparowits Plateau, coal fired energy plants near the Grand Canyon, Clyde Bellecourt and all the stuff happening at Wounded Knee…you get the picture. It was a cool job. I could work whatever times fit my school schedule as long as I got stuff done, and although I didn’t know Tony Ripley, I did talk to Ann Gorsuch, mother of Neil Gorsuch, on more than one occasion.

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  53. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 12:28 am

    This is the journalist I worked for when I first started at the Rocky Mountain Bureau: https://tinyurl.com/y6z4cx53 She was a great person to work for.

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  54. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 1:56 am

    So, one thing with respect to Bob Woodward that I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around. If I had tape of the President saying he was deliberately misleading the American people, and as a result of that choice, thousands upon thousands of Americans were going to do, to serve no greater purpose, I don’t see how I could go to sleep every night and face myself in the mirror every morning and keep quiet about it, knowing that every day I did that, another 1000 Americans died. I just can’t see myself not wanting to stop the deaths if I could.

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  55. Dorothy said on September 10, 2020 at 5:44 am


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  56. alex said on September 10, 2020 at 7:11 am

    Sherri, I’m withholding judgment on Woodward for not spilling at the time. First of all, his access to Trump would have been cut off immediately and it made more sense for Woodward to cultivate such a blabbermouth subject than to cross him. Also at the time, there were plenty of other journalists highlighting the stark disconnect between Trump’s assertions and reality, and if that didn’t force Trump to change course, this likely wouldn’t have had much effect either.

    The revelations aren’t particularly shocking so much as his candor with a journalist. The bigger takeaway from it all is that he is quite unstable mentally and uses very poor judgment with calamitous consequences. It may not make any difference to his most diehard supporters but if it shakes some fence-sitters off their perches right before the election, then the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

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  57. Dorothy Michalski said on September 10, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Woodward is on 60 Minutes on Sunday night this weekend. Should be an interesting interview.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 10, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Jake Sherman with Politico makes a great point, actually a series of them, in this tweet thread:


    Along with his opening “Is there anything left to learn about Trump?” there’s the argument that talking to Woodward is not, in and of itself, political malpractice. But I cannot seem to get across to my sadly all too many Trump supporting friends and fellows in this area that a reason to refuse to vote for him can be stood up simply on his consistent, unambiguous inability to think or work outside of pure self-centered self-interest. As Sherman outlines in his tweets, Obama & Boehner talked to Woodward, but they coordinated and and planned their conversations through and alongside of staff interactions with him. Trump just flippin’ free-lanced, and Woodward knew how stupid this was, and not unreasonably played it out as far as he could get him to go.

    But I don’t know that I agree he could have saved lives by blowing up the backchannel sooner. I can see the argument, but it’s very marginal at best. As someone elsewhere said, it’s more a moral debate than an ethical one: if he said it’s all confidential until the book is published, then ethically he did the correct thing, but you can assert that morally he should have gone public sooner . . . of course, I’d guess any candid conversation with Trump could push that button in some way.

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  59. Julie Robinson said on September 10, 2020 at 9:42 am

    My judgy pants are on and I think Woodward was wrong. He says he couldn’t trace the source of Trump’s information until May; fine, but May was four months ago. He wasn’t sure if Trump was lying or not, but why would Trump like about this? Nope, he needs to look at his conscience and decide if he bears responsibility for further deaths. The information that Trump knew in JANUARY should shake things up, but what do I know, Faux News probably isn’t covering it.

    The real question, though, is why Presidents keep talking to Woodward, when they know they’ll come off badly in his books. What is his secret?

    Okay, pivoting. I haven’t followed the payroll tax holiday issue closely, but the morning paper explained that every bit of it has to be paid back. So from September-December you get an extra 6.2% in your paycheck, and from January-April, you have 12.4% deducted. Hmm, that little boost runs through election season. Coincidence?

    The story was written to let us know that Indiana, the home state of Mike Pence, is declining to follow the so-called holiday.

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  60. Suzanne said on September 10, 2020 at 10:04 am

    I don’t know what I think about the Woodward tapes except that Trump has to be an idiot. Woodward wrote Fear in 2018 which is a terribly unflattering view of Trump. So, Trump had to know this and yet let Woodward tape him? Seriously, he’s either trying really hard to lose the election or he knows that none of it will make any difference to his base. And it won’t.
    I talked to a woman yesterday, a successful business woman, who went on and on about the bogus mail-in votes that would be submitted and all the cheating and that we wouldn’t know the outcome of the election for weeks because Biden would use all these bogus mail-in ballots to cheat. Heck, she told me, they’ll send a ballot to a dead cat!
    When I pointed out that my kid in AZ had voted by mail ever since he’s lived there, she assured me that that is different because AZ has a system and those are absentee ballots which are different than mail-in ballots. I tried to tell her that, no, he gets a ballot in the mail, fills it out, sends it in, and gets an email telling him that it’s been received. No, she still insisted, that’s different than a mail-in ballot.
    I give up with these people. I truly do.

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  61. nancy said on September 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Trump is so stupid he thinks Bob Fucking Woodward is Cindy Adams, or some other Page Six stenographer. He still sees himself as the charming man-about-town, who can stop by the gossip columnist’s table, chat for five minutes, drop some juicy tidbit about someone else and leave, knowing the tidbit will be a blind item in the next day’s paper and the hack will consider him a valuable source, not to be burned.

    In other words, he’s an idiot.

    Not every president comes across badly in these books, but he doesn’t write hagiographies, that’s for sure, and every president makes mistakes, miscalculates, etc.

    Woodward thinks of himself as writing “the second draft of history,” and sees himself not as strictly a journalist anymore, but more of a popular contemporary historian. I disagree with the lefty argument that he’s a monster for not speaking up. There were many, many, MANY other sources talking about how dangerous the virus is, and we know exactly how Trump & Co. would have reacted to being burned by the Bigshot Second Drafter. He made the right call.

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  62. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Just watching the video of Trump on CSPAN when he said that McCain was a loser blah blah blah and laughing while he said it. Getting laughs from his audience for saying it…tells you that he thinks he can say fucking anything and no one will object, or at least no one whose opinion he cares about. The Cindy Adams analogy is right except that as a man about town Trump was a punchline in NYC. I remember NY Magazine titling an article about him, “If He’s So Rich Howcome He Ain’t Smart?”

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  63. Jakash said on September 10, 2020 at 11:35 am

    To me, there’s always a balancing act with Hair Furor between whether he’s more stupid or evil, while allowing for the fact that both the stupidity and the evil are in service of his egomania. I can’t figure out much of an evil component to his talking to Bob Woodward in the way he evidently did. But it was plenty stupid; another entry on that side of the ledger.

    Nancy illuminates his probable rationale well, and personally I agree with her about whether Woodward was wrong in keeping this information under wraps until the book came out, too. One can get a pretty good idea of how much effect the revelations would have had then, given the way Cult 45 is downplaying yesterday’s news.

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  64. Mark P said on September 10, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Trump is a pathological liar, so there is no way to know how much truth there was in his Woodward interview. He is also a psychopath (constant lying being a symptom) so he is unable to understand social mores; he sees nothing wrong with lying to the public and thus causing unnecessary deaths. Unfortunately for him (and us, maybe) he is also stupid, so he doesn’t have the sense to fake normal empathy or understand how people will see his behavior. All he sees is his followers’s response, and they all are all idiots, or, in some cases, just evil. But they love him no matter what, and that feeds his massive but fragile ego.

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  65. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Trump talked to Woodward because he’s a narcissist. He’ll do anything and say anything for attention. And he really thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, too.

    I don’t know that anything would have changed had Woodward disclosed what he knew earlier. I just don’t think I could have sat on it that long while people were dying.

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  66. nancy said on September 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Some further thoughts on why Don talked to Bob:

    Until he ran for president, Trump had basically been covered by two categories of journalist — the aforementioned gossip columnists, and the business press (and there, lightly). We tend to forget that until Wall Street woke up and began to roar in the ’80s, the business department at many papers was like the women’s department at the Columbus Dispatch, where I got my start. Which is to say, “Here are some ads for grocery stores and dresses. Produce some stories to go around that.”

    The B-pages existed to feature a few pages of stock listings — remember those? — and in large part to reflect and flatter the “business leaders” in the community. In Columbus, there was a standing feature called the Blue Chip Profile, which was a straight kneepads piece on local businesses. In Fort Wayne, it was called Business Focus. Until people like Andrew Ross Sorkin and Bethany McLean and other truly skilled investigative reporters started writing about the M&A action going on all around in the ’80s, these folks were accustomed to ass-licking from reporters, and expected it.

    Remember Bill Agee and Mary Cunningham, which we’ve discussed here more than once? That story broke when Bill stood up at Bendix’ annual shareholders’ meeting and addressed the rumor that he was having an affair with Mary, which allowed every reporter there to actually treat it as a story, rather than just a rumor, which is what it had been. Only a guy accustomed to flattery would make that mistake.

    I can’t speak to what the NYT was doing then, but the tabs certainly lapped up the story of Donald Trump, dashing bachelor and skyscraper-builder and model-dater. His stupid book was a best-seller. And then, after a few years, he went showbiz, and throw entertainment writers into the mix.

    These were instructive years for Trump. As many have noted, he never expected to win this election. He’s shrewd but ignorant, so he almost certainly thought he could buffalo Woodward the way he’d done to countless writers before him.

    I remember reading a story about Trump’s condition for shooting TV or movies in his buildings: You had to give him a cameo. That’s how you have all these clips from “Home Alone” or “Sex in the City” where he does a walk-on. By the time your ego is so bloated that you’re requiring that sort of fluffing, you think you’re way smarter than anyone who writes boring books about Washington, for god’s sake.

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  67. Scout said on September 10, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    It’s interesting to observe the evolution of this story on twitter. Overnight it went from being an indictment of trump’s criminal mismanagement of the virus to piling onto Woodward for being to blame for all the deaths. This looks like the work of troll farms to change the narrative and reading comments here, it may be working.

    That the headlines and chyron are all focused on the word DOWNPLAY, indicates the same sort of narrative nudge big media engages in. Yeah, he DOWNPLAYED, but they seem to have convenient amnesia that he also actively held rallies, called it a Democrat hoax, made fun of wearing masks, fucked with the PPE supply, called for businesses and schools to reopen while cases were/are spiking. He didn’t just downplay, he chose to aggressively and criminally misinform and create a political divide over a life and death matter. He also tried to profit from pushing Hydroxychloroquine. The sane 2/3 of the country should collectively bring about a class action lawsuit against him.

    Oh and one more thing, fucking q-tip head Pence was the leader of the task force. He knew too. Lock that obsequious shithead up and throw away the key.

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  68. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Remember Senator Richard Burr, who dumped all his hotel stocks in February and told a bunch of VIPs how bad things were going to be while publicly saying the opposite? Lots of Republicans knew. They weren’t willing to do anything.

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  69. Jakash said on September 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    “Shrewd But Ignorant: The Donald Trump Story — How one man’s long con didn’t make America great again.” In hardcover wherever books are sold.

    I don’t dispute that there’s a large element of trying to change the narrative, Scout, but the first “Fuck Woodward” stuff I saw was almost immediate, and not from troll farms, but committed, genuine lefties.

    Anybody who actually pays attention to valid news sources knows what he’s done. The people who don’t will never know, nor care. Then there’s Mitch McConnell and the treasonous Senate Majority. *They* know, but don’t care.

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  70. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Tenant-farming, with a prettied-up, foodie, sustainability kind of gloss on it so maybe you won’t notice!


    Oh, and remember Joel Salatin, who Michael Pollan made famous in The Omnivore’s Dilemma for his amazing farm? Turns out he’s an anti-masker bigot. Too much of the foodie, crunchy, small is good farming world fails to take into account labor issues.

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  71. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t remember what the NYT was saying about trump either. Maybe they were ignoring him as much as possible. The Post was his personal promotional rag. NY Mag thought he was an asshole and best of all SPY magazine started the tiny hands thing. “Short Fingered Vulgarian” was their term for him.

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  72. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    As if the devastation from the fires isn’t enough, 911 dispatchers in several Oregon counties are having to deal with calls from people wanting to know about rumors being spread on social media that Antifa activists have been arrested for setting the fires.

    The entire fucking West Coast is on fire, must be antifa, amirite?

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  73. beb said on September 10, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    How convenient that everyone has pivoted to killing the messenger and not the message. Of course Woodward made it easy for the Russians Republicans to go after him for sitting on this blockbuster information for so long. And now that it’s old news it can easily be forgotten.

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  74. Jeff Borden said on September 10, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    I interviewed tRump twice while I was a reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business. He had a casino boat moored on Lake Michigan in Gary, Indiana and I covered the gambling beat. I called the Trump Organization, which put me in touch with his secretary or p.r. person, who promised me 15-minutes of his time at such and such a time. He’d usually give me four or five minutes. He lied extravagantly on both occasions: his casino vessel was the largest (no), most expensive (no), most luxurious (no). And when his boat came in fourth in revenues –gamblers want the quickest fix, so the boat closest to Chicago in Hammond was the big winner– he was certain there was something wrong with how Indiana calculated revenues.

    He’s a fucking flop as a business executive. (His Gary casino, like his Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, went bankrupt.) As LAMary notes above, he was considered a “bridge and tunnel” boor in Manhattan and a status-chasing jerk. His rep as a big-time dealmaker lies primarily with that hideous TV show.

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  75. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    The air here today is so bad. The sky is yellow, more yellow than it was yesterday. I woke up thinking the fire was very close. The smoke is that thick. I’ve had a headache all day from the smokey smell. You find a map of California fires on CalFire. The red dots are all over the state. Some have been burning for four or five days. The one nearest to me is two days old with zero percent under control.

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  76. Jeff Borden said on September 10, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    I fear these disasters are going to keep multiplying. Drought plus heat plus idiot people multiplied by empty government coffers and denial of the problem by one political party. Meanwhile, wish we could ship Lake Michigan water to California. Levels are higher than I’ve seen since moving here in 1989.

    Mother Nature is pissed off.

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  77. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    The satellite view of all the smoke on the West Coast is unimaginable.


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  78. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    I have to get over my dislike of Bob Woodward. He was scheduled to speak at my college back in the seventies and he dumped us for some other gig at the last minute. Carl Bernstein filled in for him, so still good, but the college newspaper said some bad things about Bob.

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  79. Mark P said on September 10, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    I heard part of an interview with Michael Mann today. He said global warming is causing conditions that cause wildfires that are qualitatively different from past years. So, welcome to our new world.

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  80. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm


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  81. Deggjr said on September 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    If Woodward had published the interviews six months ago they would be long forgotten by now.

    I think the Senate Intelligence Report on Russian interference in the election was in the news for one day. I think Roger Stone, pardoned by President Trump, was identified as the Wikileaks go between. All forgotten.

    Did the Russians put bounties on US Troops in Afganistan? I think a $150,000 wire transfer from a Russian account to an Afgani account has been identied. If so, that’s all forgotten too.

    If 42% of the country wants to destroy the country the exact timing of the Woodward revelations doesn’t matter.

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  82. susan said on September 10, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Yeah, FatNixon has picked up the Woodward ball and is running with it: “Trump: Woodward Should’ve Warned People if I Was Lying to Them About COVID-19”

    That turd is unbelievable.

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  83. Sherri said on September 10, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I’m grumpy today, for oh so many reasons, so let me say one thing I’m grateful for. I’m grateful that I installed air conditioning in my house, because it’s in the 90s and the air quality sucks.

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  84. LAMary said on September 10, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    The air quality is horrible. I’ve had a headache all day. The air is dark yellow. At four o’clock I needed the lights on in my office.

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