These scoundrels.

Sooooo… what chapped your ass this weekend? This was mine:

Yes, by all means, spend the better part of a year licking the dimpled ass of our Covid-denying president, not wearing a mask and otherwise being a waste of space, then jump to the head of the line to get the vaccine for the disease you told us all was no biggie.

There are other examples – hey, Mike Pence – and every single one bugs me. At least have the decency to do it in the shadows.

You probably saw this story in the WashPost over the weekend, worth a click if you need to stoke your stomach-acid supplies:

The rise in cases and deaths in November coincided with a drop in visibility from Trump and Pence. Following the Nov. 3 election, the two went many days without public appearances. Whenever the president did speak or weigh in on Twitter, it was usually about his desire to overturn the election results, not about the worsening pandemic.

As for Pence, one consistent criticism was his reluctance to deliver tough news and dire coronavirus statistics to the president. As one former senior administration official put it, “He knows, like everybody else knows, that covid is the last thing Trump wants to hear about or see anybody making news about. If not touting Operation Warp Speed, it’s the topic that shall not be spoken of.” A senior administration official and Pence ally, however, said Pence always shared the daily reality with Trump but, as a perpetual optimist, often did so with a positive spin.

What an empty suit. In an administration full of them, his may be the emptiest. And then there was this:

President Trump on Friday discussed naming Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, to be a special counsel overseeing an investigation of voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion.

It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan.

Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. In recent days Mr. Giuliani has sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election.

Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone initially, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place.

We are going to have to white-knuckle it through every goddamn day until January 20, aren’t we?

Ah, well. This is the last weekend before the holidays, and I have the happy/nervous task of prepping for a somewhat spur-of-the-moment getaway early in January. The Friday after Alan retires, we’re heading to Key West for a few days. I figured it was one place we could go that was capable of supporting outdoor dining and recreation as we tick down the days until we can get vaccinated. The flights will be the riskiest, but we’re planning to be tested ahead of time, double-masking through the flight itself and then driving from Miami down the island chain. We’re renting a condo and traveling with friends who both had the bug earlier in the year and have antibodies. Delta seems to have a sound Covid policy and friends who’ve flown them say they’re enforcing it.

So, fingers crossed. It may be irresponsible, but not as much as Marco Rubio.

Alan’s Christmas present: A day of guided fly-fishing on the tidal flats. I think he’ll like it. And if Trump declares martial law, Key West seems as good a place as any to ride it out. The last time I was there was…1980, lordy. Just after Mariel, just before AIDS. What a week that was, staying in my friend Jeff’s hovel of an apartment, no air conditioning, in an unbelievably hot and humid September. He had one fan, which we never, ever turned off for fear it wouldn’t start back up again. Periodically it would slow down, and we’d watch, horrified, as it slowed, slooowwed, sloooowwwed, until you could see the blades moving, then miraculously speed back up. We slept late and I knocked around the island while Jeff worked as a waiter at the Casa Marina. He’d get home and we’d chill before starting the night’s activities — first this one bar, then this other bar, finally ending at the Monster, the famous gay disco whose other location was on Fire Island.

I recall a cast of beautiful gay men, enjoying the last time it was safe to be so. One night, on the second Myers gimlet of the night at the first bar, we sat looking lazily out the front window onto Duval Street. A slender blonde man walking past stopped to light a cigarette and rested a hand on one of the rattletrap bicycles leaning against the porch overhang. “Get your hands off my Cadillac, you bleached whore,” one of our party drawled in this perfect Tennessee Williams delivery and I just cracked up. Many drinks later, at the Monster, he told me that if he were straight, he would certainly make a play for me. You don’t get a compliment like that every day.

Our last night, we stayed up all night partying. My early-morning flight had a mechanical problem and I missed the connection to Columbus, but Eastern booked me first class on a later one, the first and only time I’ve flown in the front of the plane. It was…glorious.

So that was the weekend. How was yours?

Posted at 5:52 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

77 responses to “These scoundrels.”

  1. beb said on December 20, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    How was my weekend? I’ve been sleeping a lot. Not a particularly good use of my time but then nothing does.

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  2. alex said on December 20, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Last time I was in Key West was the ’80s too, only my traveling companions were my parents, and while they paid for nice accommodations and fabulous meals, it wasn’t quite the raucous fun time I’d have preferred. Like the one over Y2K New Year’s, when I went to Miami Beach with friends, then drove to the Keys, but only as far as Marathon, where we had the old Isla Mirada resort practically all to ourselves.

    And the one time I ever rode first class, I was with two companions going down to Florida for Christmas. When we got to our connection, I was informed that I’d been bumped. The airline apologized and immediately tried to make it right when they realized we were traveling together and had purchased our tickets together. So they put me in first class and I had it all to myself. Strange how a plane can be “sold out” yet still be so empty. Go figure.

    As for the weekend, we rented a rooter and snaked my parents’ sewer cleanout. Saved them $3,900. That’s what Northside Plumbing was going to charge to excavate and install new cleanouts because they claimed that the sewer contractor who had installed the original had done defective work and it wasn’t up to code. This was bullshit and they obviously thought they could sell something to my parents that they didn’t need. Never doing business with that outfit again.

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  3. LAMary said on December 20, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    My house was built by two amateurs who started in 1928 and finished it in 1935. I’m told it was a mother/daughter team. I’m on a hillside and my sewer line runs downhill from the house the to street that backs my yard. Since moving here we had annual sewer line cleanouts that ranged in price from 600 to 1500 dollars. Having watched the guys do this so many times we decided to just rent the damn rooter machine ourselves for less than 100 bucks. For something involving shit it was a wonderful experience. The next year we decided to replace our ancient, clay pipe sewer line with plastic pipe. Two strong sons and an in house Brit engineer, two days work digging, installing, burying. No more annual rooter events. This seems not relevant to the topic of the day but thinking of Rubio and Pence and Trump was too disgusting so I latched on to Alex’s sewer mention.

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  4. Jeff Borden said on December 20, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    My only first-class flight (on the greatly lamented Piedmont Airlines) was thanks to a woman I was dating who was a flight attendant. On a Charlotte to L.A.flight, I was in my middle seat in coach when the P.A. ordered me to the cockpit, which led to her friend seating me in first-class. We priced out business class seats the last two times we flew to Europe, but the prices were absurd.

    We’ll see and read scores of stories about undeserving assholes like Little Marco getting the vaccine after months of pooh-poohing the pandemic. It will drive us nuts. My loathing for Republicans has never been stronger. As bad as the Orange King has been, the institutional GOP has been worse. I’m seriously thinking of drinking my Macallan 18 –long reserved for the day Richard Bruce Cheney goes toes up– to the blessed day when Moscow Mitch croaks.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on December 20, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Baked Christmas cookies. Ate Christmas cookies. Hurt the good knee. Watched Elf. Streamed Josh Groban Christmas concert. Streamed Kinky Boots musical. Streamed church. Watched Messiah. Talked with kiddos. Went nowhere, as per uzh.

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  6. Colleen said on December 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Alex, if you need sewer work again, I was treated well by Shoda. They replaced a broken clay sewer line, circa 1926, with plastic, for a fraction of my first bid.

    Did nothing much this weekend. Ventured out and volunteered for the cat rescue Saturday and helped find good homes for several cats. That’s always a feel good day. Today has been a bunch of nothing. Napping, a call to my dad for his birthday. Haven’t seen my parents since March. At this rate, I saw them more frequently when I lived in Indiana, as opposed to now, when I am an hour away.

    Have a good week, all.

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  7. Deborah said on December 20, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    All this talk about getting a sewer line cleared out is making me nervous.

    I’m so sick of reading about Trump’s wild machinations. One damn month to go.

    We talked about flying back to Chicago but quickly came to the conclusion that it’s not safe yet at least not for people our age. I’m not sure I’d set foot in the state of Florida anytime soon.

    The last time I was in key west I was in high school and it was a pretty tame trip.

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  8. Bitter Scribe said on December 20, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Many drinks later, at the Monster, he told me that if he were straight, he would certainly make a play for me. You don’t get a compliment like that every day.

    Reminds me of an old joke:

    These two gay guys are outdoors, chatting on a sidewalk, when a very curvy, sexy woman in a tight, short dress shows up and slinks between them, jiggling her way down the walk. One of the guys raises his eyebrows appreciatively as he looks after her, turns to his companion and says, “You know, every once in a while I wish I were a lesbian.”

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  9. nancy said on December 20, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    And yes, I realize that’s something gay men say, but I was 22, and I believed.

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  10. Peter said on December 20, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Bitter Scribe, THAT reminds me of another old joke:

    This cowboy walks into an urban bar and sits down next to a lovely lady. The lady asks if he’s a cowboy, and he answers yes, then she tells him that she’s a lesbian.

    “A lesbian?” the cowboy asks, “What’s a lesbian?”

    “Well,” she says, “when I get up in the morning, I think about having sex with a woman. When I’m in the shower, I think about having sex with a woman. When I’m at work, I think about having sex with a woman. When I make dinner, I think about having sex with a woman. And when I go to bed, I think about having sex with a woman. Speaking of which, I see a woman I know over there – see you later cowboy!”

    Next thing you know, a pretty lady sits next to the cowboy and asks, “Say, are you a cowboy?” The cowboy answers, “Well, I thought I was, but now I’m not sure.”

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  11. Mark P said on December 20, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    My weekend ends very soon because I have to be in bed very soon. My wife has a laminectomy Monday and has to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. Plus she has to finish a special carbohydrate drink two hours before that.

    Some years back when we traveled for government work, we bought the most expensive coach tickets because of uncertainty about when we would actually travel and return. An upgrade to First Class from Atlanta to LA was so cheap we often paid for it ourselves. The government changed that policy for my later travels, so no FC. These days I would rather drive than fly coach, yes, even Detroit to Miami.

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  12. Deborah said on December 20, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    In the not very likely event that it would actually happen, What would martial law even look like in the next few weeks or months? Does anybody even know? Wouldn’t that involve an outrageously disruptive, complicated and expensive endeavor for the government to take on in the middle of a serious pandemic no less. The mind boggles.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on December 20, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Deborah – Yes, which is why I’m not worried about it. A coup would be a lot more work that Trump wants to or is capable of doing.

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  14. Dexter Friend said on December 21, 2020 at 1:31 am

    My last 2 flights were in the first row , behind the bulkhead with many inches of spare legroom…the kicker is it was Southwest Airlines which has no class seat assignments. The seats are coach. Our boarding group was called first and we got the first row. I loved first class the one time I was bumped up to distribute weight on a nearly empty redeye from SFO to ORD. Champagne, nice pillows, a blanket, and all three seat to sleep on. Damn long time ago, by cracky. Last year we began stuffing the piggy bank for Christmas at Port Saint Lucie at daughter Sandi’s. And The Bug fucked all that up. I found out I am in vaccination Group 1-C or something like that, the 64 to 75 year old group with morbidities. And oh you betcha I have morbidities, plenty of them.
    The weekly weak report: Lions crushed down in Nashville.
    I have been to Florida a bunch of times, Naples, Daytona, all the cities on both sides and Orlando too, but never Miami or The Keys. Carla Lee and 2 daughters went and had a great time.
    This new strain in the UK is shutting down all air departures . People are stranded and mad. I will be spending the holidays here in isolation, and will get the vaccine ASAP. I am going basically nowhere but to get food. I will not approach a drive-through window without being double-masked. My $600 will be used to get a troublesome minivan radiator problem solved. *poof* gone.

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  15. beb said on December 21, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Is David C our new resident troll? I felt like responding to something he wrote in the last threat (post#109) but feel like feeding a troll. It was in response to a post on Raw Story that there look to be suspicious voting patterns in Kentucky that got McConnell unexpectedly re-elected. The criticism is that a lot of Kentuckians are still registered Democrats that they reliably vote Republican. That’s because before Johnson’s Civil Rights Act Democrats in the south was the party of the Klan. So while they still for the party of the Klan, ie, Republicans, they haven;t bothered to change their party affiliation. The study acknowledged that situation and corrected for it be looking at who voted straight ticket and who split their ticket. Basically it looks suspicious that someone who voted for Biden would turn around and vote for McConnell. That’s just not natural. Add to it that McConnell was not that popular in Kentucky. So there is a high likelihood that the voting machines were programmed to flip a number of McGrath votes to McConnell.

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  16. james moehrke said on December 21, 2020 at 2:14 am

    No sewer line stories, but we did fly First Class, SFO to HNL 27 years ago when our son was 10 months old. Bulkhead seats, in a 747, with room to spread a blanket out on the floor for him. The best part was when a flight attendant took him for a stroll around the cabin so we could have a break.
    26 years later he became a flight attendant, and we’ve flown trans oceanic several times up front since. That’s over now with the pandemic, but he’s in flight school with the goal of getting back in the air in the front of the plane, so maybe we will get lucky again.

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  17. jerry said on December 21, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Over 30 years ago I was due to fly business class from Chicago to London. When I asked they told me business was really full so I “volunteered” to be upgraded – and they did. Very pleasant, and I really enjoyed the champagne.

    My sympathy and best wishes to all of you suffering over Christmas. It all puts my frustrations over the Christmas cancellation in perspective.

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  18. ROGirl said on December 21, 2020 at 5:19 am

    At one point I was doing enough air travel that I was eligible for first class upgrade after all the higher level frequent flyers had been seated in first class, so it very rarely happened. But my favorite first class upgrade happened when I was paged at the podium by the gate at the Orlando airport. Someone with a first class seat wanted to switch with me so that he could sit with his wife in coach, and I obliged.

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  19. David C said on December 21, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Fuck off beb. Left wing conspiracy theories are just as fucking stupid as right wing conspiracy theories. To pull off conspiracies like that takes a lot of people knowing what’s going on. People who need to be kept quiet. Do people keep quiet? No, they fucking don’t. Do you think there wouldn’t be one single person who wouldn’t say they wouldn’t participate in a scheme like that. The polls consistently showed McGrath behind and she underperformed the polls like a lot of Democrats down ballot did. Why would anyone bother to steal what they had already won? You owe me a fucking apology.

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  20. Deborah said on December 21, 2020 at 7:52 am

    I’m probably getting in the middle of something that’s none of my business but let’s not get conspiracy theories about voter fraud and McConnell started here, it’s preposterous and counter productive. We have real problems in this country right now to worry about.

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  21. Dorothy said on December 21, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Get over yourself, Dave

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  22. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Have you seen the Hari Kunzru thing about the departing trumpazoids? I would be happy to share it. I think the best line is to Kayleigh McEnany. He refers to her as an evacuated husk of a mean girl cheerleader.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

    I’ll add no more clutter to the thread on sewer lines other than to say, as someone personally & theologically opposed to hate in almost any form or direction, I hate silver maple trees.

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  24. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Jeff, I understand. I share your hate but for me it’s carrotwood trees.

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  25. JodiP said on December 21, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Our weekend was tough. We made a decision Thursday night that the new dog’s training needs were too high, plus she attacked one of our cats for merely walking by the Chewy delivery box full of food. I called the foster mom Friday morning and by 2:30 she had driven up to pick Greta up. My poor wife, who had fallen much more for this dog, didn’t get to say goodbye. If I had any doubts, my greatly decreased stress level has appeased them.

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  26. Suzanne said on December 21, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I flew first class once. We had booked a flight from Indy to NYC (LaGuardia) which got canceled due to bad storms after we were on the plane and our carry-on luggage gate checked, about which we had no concerns since it was a direct flight. We had to rebook on a few hours later flight to JFK but were not told we were standby. We did not get on that flight but our luggage did. There were no other flights that day that we could get on. We had to rebook again for the next morning meaning we had to spend the night in Indy since our new flight was at 6:30 am or some ridiculous time. They wanted to rebook us to LaGuardia and when we objected that our luggage was going to JFK, they were less than helpful. I admit to getting a bit heated (there may have been a security guard inching ever closer to the counter) but we finally got more cooperation when my husband mentioned that his blood pressure meds were in the carry-on luggage that they took from us, and now we had no pjs or anything and our luggage was going to be at JFK so why couldn’t we go there? So, they rebooked on a flight that was at 7:00 am the next day to JFK and bumped us up to first class. When we boarded, I realized first class was the two of us and one other guy, so I was less than impressed that they graced us with an upgrade. But at least, I did get a pillow and blanket and slept the whole time.
    Since that incident, I have always put pjs and a toothbrush in my “personal item” but have vowed that any gate attendant will have to pry my carry-on bag out of my cold dead hands.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on December 21, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Jodi, I’m so sorry about your pupster. I’m sure it was a wrenching decision. Sounds like it may be be an animal who needs to be the only one in the home.

    Suzanne, I almost had to spend the night in Indy when my flight to Fort Wayne was diverted because of an accident. Like your hubby, I had no meds with me so now I always carry those in my personal item. Plus an extra pair of undies. I don’t mind wearing my clothes twice, but undies are a different matter, and what if you wash them out but they don’t dry overnight.

    LAMary, please share your link. It’s gray again and I need some chuckles.

    Does anyone have experience with a chair exercise program I could stream for my mom? The downside of not going out is becoming completely sedentary, and she’s got some balance issues that make her fear walking outside. She’s losing strength and stamina, and while I know part of it is her age, part of it is sitting all day long. We have access to most of the streaming services except Apple+.

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  28. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Before I share, I just read that Van Morrison and Eric Clapton have collaborated on an anti mask song. Asshole move.

    Here you go, from Hari Kunzru

    “Mike Pence you repressed joyless would-be witchfinder, every time you spoke you always looked like you were straining to expel an enormous bolus of your own hypocrisy from your clenched sphincter.
    “Betsy DeVos you blandly foolish soulless entitled child-stealing witch, rotting like a corpse inside your Chanel suit.
    “All the generals, you spineless buzz-cut phallus-brained plastic Spartans fawning and wriggling to distract yourself from your moral cowardice.
    “Kayleigh McEnenay, you evacuated husk of a mean-girl cheerleader, the cavity where your heart once was pumped full of spite and moronic lies.
    “Bill Barr you vast pompous pus-filled bladder of casuistry, you are an enemy of justice, bloated with resentment and cruelty, wobbling like a jelly at the feet of the oligarchs.
    “Jared Kushner, you vacuous dainty preening overpromoted nub of mediocrity, squeezed like an entitled smear of toothpaste into a silk suit bought with tear-stained dollars wrung out of the suffering tenants of your slum apartments.
    “Ivanka Trump, you monstrous slug of vanity, you infantile ninny so marinated in self-regard that in your pea brain you believe we ought to love you for your crimes.
    “Mike Pompeo, you bubble, you booby, you flatulent zero, that roiling in your ample guts that you mistake for world shaking significance is just the acid reflux of irrelevancy.
    “Don Junior, you scabrous single-nostriled unloved elephant-murdering human wreckage, vibrating with bitterness and impotent rage at all the opportunities you’ve squandered.
    “Sarah Sanders, you crude hulking beetle-browed bully, working your multiple chins as you masticated another stinking quid of falsity, spitting again and again on the people you were supposed to inform.
    “Interlude: all you staffers and interns, so eager to crunch your way in your shiny new work shoes over the bodies of the poor and powerless, I smite you and cast you out one by one.
    “Eric Trump, you pallid clammy suppurating nocturnal semi-human grub, your absence of charisma is your only notable trait and the act of flushing you from memory will so be smooth and painless that in a month people will find it hard to picture your moon face.
    “Rudy Giuliani, you capering cartoonish skull-faced bag of graft and corruption, too stupid even to ask who’s pulling your strings just so long as you can cake your crusty face in tv make-up and clack your jaw at a camera.
    “And of course Stephen Miller, you weeping pustule upon the social body, you dreg, you homunculus, you noxious slime felched from the gaping cavity of Jim Crow, one day may you find yourself walking barefoot across hot sand, desperate for water, crying for your missing child.

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  29. David C said on December 21, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Sorry beb. Sorry everyone. I’m tense and it’s all too easy to lose it. I hope I’m not being a troll. If I am, please let me know. I like it here and never want to be known as the local asshole. Maybe I need some time out for the next month because all this is really getting to me.

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  30. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

    No sweat, David. Right there with you a lot of the time. I keep it corked but occasionally that’s not possible. It’s all good.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on December 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

    The only time studying French did me any practical good was when I used it to get an upgrade on an Air France flight. You haven’t lived until you’ve flown first class on Air France.

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  32. Heather said on December 21, 2020 at 10:07 am

    I flew first-class once but had to pay for it–I was living in Rome and my father fell ill in Dublin, and that’s the only way I could get there fast. I paid more to get there than my siblings did to fly from the U.S. I remember some really good Bailey’s chocolate candies but was otherwise too distraught to enjoy the experience.

    I’m so sorry to hear of everyone having family health challenges. I am thinking of all of you.

    And JodiP, sometimes these things don’t work out, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m sure the rescue will find the pup a good home.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on December 21, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Those are great, Mary. You can tell he was having fun with language. I especially like the one for Jared Kushner.

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  34. alex said on December 21, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Even better than my one-time first class experience on Delta (or whatever domestic airline it was, I don’t remember) was flying on SwissAir. It was cushy and roomy and the food was divine and I remember wondering why can’t this be the benchmark of coach class for every airline?

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  35. Deborah said on December 21, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I flew business class lots back and forth between St.Louis and London when I worked there, we could only be in London 2 weeks at a time because the company I worked for didn’t want to get us the proper work visa’s. Then we racked up zillions of frequent flyer miles on American Airlines so once in a while when my husband and I took a European vacation we flew first class. It was well worth it for the trip over, but for the trip back seemed excessive. When uncle J flew to London or France he and his caregivers flew first class, when we were invited along we flew business class, which was lovely. My husband flew so many miles on American from business trips he has a lifelong membership to the Ambassadors lounges at airports, which is a nice perk. He hated all of the trips he had to constantly take though.

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  36. Jenine said on December 21, 2020 at 11:31 am

    I realized on Saturday that I was feeling grimmish. I told my husband, I don’t think I’m depressed but I can see it from here. I’ve seen a lot of snappishness on soc. media too. I will share what I am repeating to myself:
    Remember to get outside every day during the short daylight hours. Remember that this time of year is not ‘the most wonderful’ because it’s cold and dark and holidays bring their own stresses.
    Cut everyone some slack and look for something you’re grateful for.
    I’m enjoying the lights in the window and our tree. I’m also grateful that solstice was at 4am Central this morning so we’re already on the right side.
    Good Yule, everyone!

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  37. Jakash said on December 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Sorry, Beb, but suggesting that David C. is a troll seems way overboard to me. It’s not like he’s an unknown quantity around here; he’s made lots of solid comments. He was rather blunt in his reply to you on the other thread, and “fuck off” is never a good look, but IMHO he was right on the substance. I had read for months that folks spending so much money trying to unseat McConnell in Kentucky was a fool’s errand, given the polling. You don’t need a conspiracy to reelect the Republican Majority Leader in freaking Kentucky, for crying out loud. I’m not happy about it, but I’m also not surprised that folks would split their ballot. Plenty saw Trump for what he is, while they still didn’t want to give Biden carte blanche via a Democratic Senate.

    Which is also part of why the right-wing fever dream about a stolen election is so stupid. If somebody were gonna go to all the trouble to steal the election, why in the world did they not arrange to take the Senate along with Biden?

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  38. A. Riley said on December 21, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Something wonderful happened in our little old Chicago suburb Saturday, during one of the longest nights: Light Up the Night. People set out luminaries on their front sidewalks — everyone on whole blocks, whole streets, all over town. I think more than 200 blocks actually took part. Our street had luminaries in front of every house, and as the sun went down, people strolled up & down the block and soaked up the love. It was *great.*–/

    (The ones on our block were slightly different than the ones in the article: We all used white paper bags weighted with birdseed, lit with little LED “candles.” The little flickering yellow lights were still going strong when I went out the next day at noon to pick ours up.)

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  39. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    We haven’t had the usual old hippie carolers this year. Masked up and staying in their pods I assume. The SRF, a meditation and yoga center across the canyon from my house usually plays Christmas music every night but I haven’t heard it this year. Maybe it will start tonight.

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  40. Indiana Jack said on December 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Had a marvelous first class flight from Dulles to Warsaw, Poland, in 2005. Earlier connecting flight was delayed so I missed my tourist class U.S. carrier. The upgrade put me on LOTT, the Polish national airline, in first class. Absolutely wonderful experience except for one thing: My luggage.
    My carryon was loaded with Boston Red Sox baseball caps as gifts for seminar participants. (The hats were white with a big red B, perfect for Belarusians opposed to Lukashenka.) I had to go shopping for essentials to get me through until my luggage arrived.
    But the flight was great.

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  41. Jeff Borden said on December 21, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    For music fans looking for fun and adventure. . .

    May I recommend Radio Garden, an app for smartphones? I’ve been getting ready in the morning listening to the early jazz played by Arctic Outpost Station Norway on the North Pole, which claims to be spinning vintage 78 rpm records. Sometimes, I opt for the strange instrumentals coming out of a station in Giza, Egypt. And there’s a relaxing ambient jazz station from Kakamura, Japan. It’s a free streaming service and worth your attention. . .though you may be dismayed by how many stations in how many places air generic American pop music.

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  42. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I’m still thinking about Marco Rubio saying he needs a tan. No one needs a tan. Own those milky arms Marco. The lack of tanners is the least of your problems.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Consciously or not, Marco has been absorbing the lessons of his leadership:

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  44. alex said on December 21, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    lol jtmmo!

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  45. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Sydney Powell, of the crazy conspiracy theories and multiple animal print accessories went military for her look on Friday. She met with trump and flynn to discuss having the military supervise re-doing the election in swing states. Great minds and all that.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    5593 pages . . . check out page 5099 & following.

    As AOC is saying this afternoon, it is profoundly weird to be passing something this large this quickly, and you don’t have to be a Russian troll to wonder exactly what kind of pork & pork-byproducts are in here.

    But check out pg. 5099ff. Definitely some non-fiscal stuff in here.

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  47. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Definitely some odd things on there, Jeff. God bless us everyone.

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  48. susan said on December 21, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Jeff @ 46, where does one find page 5099? The link you provided goes to p. 3126.

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  49. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I’ve flown first class twice, both times to funerals and my flight was paid for by another family member.
    Thirty two years ago the ex and I had to fly to NYC to participate in the Christmas party his employer was throwing. Coming back the flight was overbooked and the airline was trying to find two people who would give up their seats. We haggled and we got two tickets that would get us pretty much anywhere in the western hemisphere. The next flight out was only about 90 minutes later so easy peasy. We held on to those certificates and about a year later we found out we were expecting. We gave the certificates to the ex’s parents who lived in NYC so they could come see their first grandchild. They used the tickets to go to Mexico.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on December 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    How many of these weirdoes live among us?

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  51. Suzanne said on December 21, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Stupid is as stupid does

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  52. alex said on December 21, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Suzanne, the bill should appear on your screen as a .pdf document. At the top of the screen you should see 1/5593. Delete the 1 and type in 5099 and hit enter.

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  53. Jakash said on December 21, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Well, Jeff B. @ 50, one of those folks did note that “My whole entire mind is blown,” so at least they’ve got that right. HOLY SMOKES THIS IS INCREDIBLE!

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  54. LAMary said on December 21, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing that, Jeff. The truth has to come out.
    And the answer to “how many weirdos?” is a lot.

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  55. Dave said on December 21, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Weirdos, how many can there be? Plenty more than we like to think. Speaking of which, Jeff TMMO, I believe this fellow has come up here before somewhere along the way but I see he’s stirring up trouble again. Sorry, this may be behind a partial paywall, so I’ll add this:

    Deputies were called Sunday when a Christian prayer group and Native Americans faced off Sunday at the Great Serpent Mound, the Native American national historic site in southern Ohio.

    The Native American leader who was there says they were trying to protect a sacred site that belonged to their ancestors.

    The leader of the prayer group says the mound is a place where dark energy is released into the world.

    “I’m not calling the Indians dark,” Dave Daubenmire told The Enquirer. “This has nothing to do with the Indians.”

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  56. Deborah said on December 21, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    With all of the stress already from Covid and the holidays, added to that vision and plumbing problems, my husband and I have definitely become the Bickersons. Case in point: we got a holiday gift that included delicious chocolate truffles. I brought 6 of them in their cute little packaging out to Abiquiu. We had one each yesterday and I put the remainder on a shelf in the kitchen area of our cabin. Because the woodburning stove sits fairly close to the shelves my husband moved the sweet candy box to a higher shelf and you guessed it the truffles melted into their plastic dividers. My disappointed response was , “hey buddy you went to Harvard, how do you not know heat rises”. Well as you can imagine that didn’t go over well. And to be fair a bit ago we spooned the chocolate truffle soup out of the packaging and it tasted just fine. So my advice is to try and bite your tongue when you’re in close quarters for days on end before you spout off something mean and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Yep. Long story short, I know him; used to talk to his wife quite often at school where she was an aide and his mom and aunts attended a church I once served. Dave does not think much of me as a Christian or a minister, let’s just say that. But I’m also engaged with the Serpent Mound controversy in some hard to sum up ways, and I’ll just say: Dave is looking for attention as the Trump era ends. My Native American associates are not happy about the whole thing (Dave D. or the crystal skull crowd, either way). The growing chorus is “nothing about us without us.” The site itself may well be back in Native American Indian hands before too long, but those decisions are above my pay grade. Clown shows abusing public land access only speed that day up, so it’s an ill wind that blows no one any good . . . we shall see.

    Anyhow, I can’t even see the Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn here tonight, and well to my south at Peebles OH I have the satisfaction of knowing the good Lord is making it peeble on Dave’s head right now.

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  58. Jakash said on December 21, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Cloudy here, too, Jeff, but the last couple nights were pretty good.

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  59. Litte Bird said on December 21, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    One reason I don’t want to fly any time soon.

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  60. Deborah said on December 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    At 5:40pm MST in Abiquiu NM we stepped out of the cabin to see the Jupiter/Saturn convergence. It’s very clear in the western sky. They’re close together but you can discern two different planets. I can see them clearly only with my prism lens glasses. Not real bright but clear.

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  61. basset said on December 21, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Saw it just fine from a park in Nashville, looked through someone’s telescope and could even see four of Jupiter’s moons.

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  62. David C said on December 21, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I got my telescope out and set up for the first time in a couple of years. So of course it’s cloudy. I watched live streams on TV but there’s something about seeing it in your eyepiece that TV can’t duplicate. To see both planets and the Galilean moons all together would have been quite something.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on December 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Cloudy here last night and tonight; not looking good the rest of the week either. I’m glad others are taking pix and video.

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  64. Sherri said on December 21, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Dumping rain here, might be clear tomorrow night.

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  65. alex said on December 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Can’t see it either. But feeling it:

    Mystic crystal revelations…

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  66. Jessica Weissman said on December 21, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    From 1998 through 2001 I had a job that required weekly travel, so for two of those years I had Premier Executive status on United and a lot of frequent flyer miles. I upgraded to 1st class for many of the long flights. During that time my father died after being ill for many months. Flying back and forth between DC and SF to see him yielded lots more miles and upgrades.

    At that time 1st class was truly wonderful. Comfortable seats, good food and drink and service. Almost made the travel job worth it.

    The icing on the cake came when we flew overseas for vacation a few times. Coach was always oversold so they bumped us up to business class to make room in coach. THAT was luxury.

    One more story: I flew back from my father’s unveiling (a Jewish ceremony 11 months after a death where the headstone is unveiled) on a red-eye that landed at Dulles airport at 6:45 am on 9/11. I made it to work just after the planes hit the towers. I had no idea what was going on or why people were acting so oddly, until my boss explained.

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  67. Sherri said on December 21, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Correction, it’s now snowing, not raining.

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  68. Dexter Friend said on December 22, 2020 at 2:20 am Etihad rules. I do hear there’s a French airline that rivals this, however.

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  69. Connie said on December 22, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Above link trapped me in that airplane bed!

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  70. alex said on December 22, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Me too Connie. And that was one claustrophobic cabin. Too much stuff in it.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 22, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Claustrophobic is a relative concept.

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  72. alex said on December 22, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I like the clean lines and minimalism there, Jeff. The other one looked like something out of a ’70s porno movie.

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  73. Suzanne said on December 22, 2020 at 9:02 am

    When even Pat Robertson says it’s time for Trump to go…

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  74. basset said on December 22, 2020 at 9:25 am

    I was about three steps from Pat Robertson at a small press conference years ago. Made eye contact and the vibe was… alien.

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  75. Sue M said on December 22, 2020 at 11:44 am

    RIP K.T Oslin

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  76. Jakash said on December 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    This is excellent: “In the cover for this year’s Cartoon Issue, Harry Bliss pays homage to Charles Addams, whose macabre work routinely appeared in The New Yorker, and whose most famous creation, the Addams Family, has spurred countless adaptations.”

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  77. Dexter Friend said on December 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    That was a movie clip from ‘North by Northwest’, set in a train. A place to stretch out in an airplane should be the antidote to claustrophobia. Being stuck in the middle seat in modern coach seats with small seats and cramped legroom, now that’s the thing that once sent me into a mild panic on a flight to Phoenix from what was then called Port Columbus. I self-talked out of the panic, but the trapped feeling was intense for a while. Back in the 80s I would not board without a fresh pint of Wild Turkey 101 in my carryon. It was perfectly OK. I’d always offer a slug to a seatmate; once in a while a grateful nervous flyer gladly accepted.

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