Enjoy hell, asshole.

I learned of Rush Limbaugh fairly early in his career. WGL in Fort Wayne was one of the first stations to pick up his show when he went national. I believe I’d listened for five minutes when I said to myself, “This is a fat guy who cannot score with chicks.”

Nothing against fat guys! Decent fat guys score all the time. Malevolent ones whose lack of Clooneytude has metastasized into a deep hatred of women are the ones who can’t. And while he was able to lure four of them into matrimony, none stuck around for very long. The last two lasted 10 years apiece, but I’d be willing to bet that as his wealth grew, the women in his life maintained separate bedrooms. Like Melania Trump, because she couldn’t stand the sight of the bastard “liked to read.”

I mean, five minutes with that foghorn voice would make me stick a drill in my ear. Rush would eventually lose his own hearing, likely through opiate abuse, which suggests even his own body was sick of carrying his blackened soul around after a while.

So anyway, that’s where it started with me and Limbaugh: The sexism. The racism, the homophobia, the casual bigotry and contempt for anyone who he perceived to be a lib-rull, as he pronounced it — that would come later, but only about 10 minutes later. You gotta give him this: The man was who he was from the beginning, and never really changed. If he had a conscience, if he ever evolved on any issue, if he grew, if his heart softened or expanded in any way, if he discarded one position and took up another, I never saw it. Of course, I didn’t listen to him for very long and had to depend on what was reported about him.

But you didn’t have to listen to him to listen to him. In Indiana, I heard him coming out of my neighbor’s kitchen window, out of cars stopped at lights, in restaurants. God, the restaurants. Alan, when he was a reporter, did a story on the “Rush rooms,” i.e. dedicated rooms in restaurants where they played his show over speakers for those who maybe couldn’t listen at work, but could catch the first or second hour at lunchtime. People only talked during the breaks. The rest of the time these places were like church with the clinking of silverware. Some people came every day.

I have been a fan in my life, a superfan of some, but honestly, I cannot imagine being so wound up with any one entertainer, one writer, one broadcaster, that I would devote this sort of attention to them. But I was never in Rush Limbaugh’s target audience, the people who not only listened to his show, but subscribed to his newsletter, bought his horrible books (even a “history” series, for children), attended his speeches and book signings, all the while looking at the sky or their shoes as the man revealed himself: As a serial bridegroom, a sex tourist, a drug addict, an all-around piece of shit from head to toe, from day one to whenever his last breath rattled his larynx.

Ordinary people, those with decency, stumble in all those ways, too. There’s no crime in multiple divorces (although when they come with NDAs you might want to check yourself), in patronizing sex workers, even in addiction. But you’re supposed to learn from these things. They’re supposed to humble you. If they did, the listening audience never got a sense of it.

It all culminated with that ghastly moment at the last State of the Union, when the worst president in history arranged to have his sex-worker wife hang the nation’s highest civilian honor around his neck, cheapening it forever. By then we all knew cancer was going to take him home sooner rather than later. I viciously hoped he’d live long enough to see Trump lose, and he did, but he was happy to walk in the president’s slime trail to the very end. Game recognize game.

Even Lee Atwater repented on his death bed. I guess we’ll have to see whether Mrs. Limbaugh numero quatro tells us what his final words were.

Alan noted that when people Rush Limbaugh didn’t like died, he’d say they “assumed room temperature.” I guess his corpse has gotten there by now. And the world is an incrementally better place today for his loss.

(This being the third entry of the week, I’m going to take the next couple of days off, unless Trump kicks the bucket, too. Then we’ll open the champagne. See you Monday.)

Posted at 2:34 pm in Current events, Media |

113 responses to “Enjoy hell, asshole.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Before Rush, there was Father Coughlin, who at the height of his popularity dwarfed the audience for the Oxycontin Kid. Broadcasters had some morality in the 1930s, so as the priest’s anti-Semitism and anti-Rooseveltism grew and grew, his program was booted from the airwaves. Undaunted, Coughlin solicited donations and was able to purchase airtime, just as so-called financial advisors and the like continue to do even today. There has always been an audience for hate. Limbaugh saw his opportunity and cashed in. His impact on the nation –outside the radio stations for whom he made a lot of moolah– is nothing but negative.

    The list of crimes attributed to St. Ronald of Reagan is long and impressive, but his work to destroy the Fairness Doctrine paved the way for Limbaugh and the other diseased rats who have followed, not to mention Fox and its doppelgangers.

    I hope Limbaugh’s widow doesn’t skimp on a grave marker that is urine-proof. Many would love to piss on his grave.

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  2. Sherri said on February 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Addiction and divorce and the like are only humbling when they come with consequences. What consequences did Limbaugh ever suffer? Why would he be humbled by any of those things when nothing changed? Did his audience go away? Did radio stations drop him? Did the GQP stop bending the knee?

    He was a man who spent his life gleefully making the world a worse place. I hope in the afterlife, he discovered that God was a black woman, who laughed at him and sent him to rot in hell.

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  3. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Perhaps the lowest of the low points for the Oxycontin Kid. . .


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  4. Brandon said on February 17, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Tell us how you really feel!

    Did radio stations drop him?

    Only two that I know of. One in Hawaii, the other in Massachusetts.

    Some other things: I posted here years ago that a “Rush Limbear” stuffed animal was being considered. I don’t think it was ever issued. He also had a tea drink, Two If By Tea.

    When Rush reported losing most of his hearing, this is what Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune arts critic, had to say.

    The sound was unmistakable: a deep, chesty baritone matched by an oratorical style one might sooner expect to hear on the Shakespearean stage.

    Whether you celebrated Rush Limbaugh’s conservative cant or abhorred it, no one could deny that the man was a master technician at using his pipes. Every angry roar or hearty laugh or below-the-breath whisper had impact, every pregnant pause made a palpably dramatic point.

    But Limbaugh’s much-publicized loss of approximately 80 percent of his hearing has had an effect perhaps even a man with “talent on loan from god,” as he often chortled, could not predict: He has lost control of an instrument he had spent a lifetime learning to use to perfection. Like a great pianist who develops carpal-tunnel syndrome or a leonine saxophonist whose embouchure is destroyed, Limbaugh now stands as a former virtuoso no longer in control of his art.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    My comment from the end of the last thread: the only thing good about him dying is that Trump can no longer order flags at half staff. Which you know he would have.

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  6. Bitter Scribe said on February 17, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Yesterday there was a dog turd on the sidewalk outside my window.

    Today it’s gone.

    My feelings for that turd are identical to my feelings toward Limbaugh.

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  7. Little Bird said on February 17, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    I remember being a teen and visiting my grandparents in Texas and every single day Rush had a show on the air, my grandparents were tuned in. I remember being disgusted by the things he spewed on air.
    A few years later a classmate dared me to watch his TV show for a week. I didn’t even make it through one show. It was disgusting.

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  8. Icarus said on February 17, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    what I said somewhere else…”If it’s cathartic for people — especially those whose lives he made more difficult than they had to be — to rip on him, I say go ahead.”

    expanding on that, if you want to be an “if you cannot say something nice, say nothing at all person” okay that’s consistent.

    But if you feel he deserves more than a barebones basic sprinkling of human decency now that he is worm meat, then you are living your best-privileged life.

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  9. Brandon said on February 17, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    About the Rush Rooms:


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  10. LAMary said on February 17, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Julie, you got that right. You know the orange turd would lower those flags. Another reason to be glad he’s gone.

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  11. Deborah said on February 17, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    An upstairs neighbor in the Santa Fe condo, an older Hispanic man was a Limbaugh listener and a Trump supporter. Occasionally I’d go out to the garage and he’d be in his garage next to ours working on something with the radio playing Rush. It always surprised me that as a Hispanic man he’d follow that, but he did.

    My husband designed the Federal Courthouse in St. Louis and while working on that he met a cousin of Rush’s, a conservative judge of some kind (I think he was a Missouri Supreme Court judge but don’t really remember) and the word was the guy was embarrassed to be the cousin of Rush. Who wouldn’t be embarrassed?

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  12. Mark P said on February 17, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Limbaugh sucked some people in who I wouldn’t have expected. I have a friend from long ago who was one of the smartest people I knew. He started listening many years ago, sometimes when I happened to be visiting. Since he listened, I decided to give it a try. I didn’t last a minute. My friend has turned into a coronavirus hoaxing, global warming denier, and Trump supporter.

    A fellow graduate student who has done work on measurements of the ozone hole had a singular honor: Rush Limbaugh called him a clown. It was mainly because he reported that government regulation of ozone-destroying chemicals had resulted in a reduction of the ozone hole (that is, an increase in ozone). His position was that government could not do anything successfully or efficiently, so a counter example couldn’t exist.

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  13. Deborah said on February 17, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    I’ve seen some horrendous videos of people in Texas going through hell with houses flooding from burst pipes in the frigid temps, no drinkable water, no food left, no heat obviously from no power, whole families camped out in a bathroom because it’s the smallest room in the house etc etc. Holy cow I feel terrible now about things I’ve said here about Texans. They are desperate and need help. This isn’t just a mild inconvenience this is some serious, serious shit.

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  14. Deborah said on February 17, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    One of the things I’m learning from this Texas disaster is to know how to turn off the water coming into your house at the source, before it’s an emergency. I have no idea how to do this in our place in Santa Fe, it’s an all electric building. Must find out, maybe not immediately but definitely before some shit happens at some point in the future. The good news there is we have a fireplace.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Texas is peculiarly susceptible to this kind of problem because it is not a part of the national grid. The state chose not to be part of the grid way back in the ’30s, when FDR’s national power plant efforts were underway and the Lone Star State wanted to remain independent.

    There are several excellent stories floating around, but at base, there is no financial incentive for Texas power operators to plan for this kind of cold.

    Folks, the aging and decrepit American infrastructure is going to start hurting us in myriad ways, particularly as these extreme weather events caused by global climate change increase. The one and only thing –the only thing– tRump talked about as a candidate that grabbed my interest was spending more than $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements. Of course, that didn’t happen despite numerous, highly publicized “infrastructure weeks.” President Biden should make it a priority.

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  16. Suzanne said on February 17, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    When Rush came on the scene, I listened pretty regularly for a few years. He was over the top, yes, but it was the era of the shock jock so he didn’t seem that out of place. I began to tire of his relentless self promotion and the show soon became him reciting a litany every day of who he had dined with, spoken with, golfed with, etc. and making fun of liberals, even those who were sick or dying. His ire for drug addicts was loud and frequent. The last straw was when he was arrested for sending a woman on his staff to get the drugs he was addicted to with an illegal prescription. I haven’t listened since.
    I am glad he is dead. I hope he’s rotting somewhere awful.

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  17. Mark zp said on February 17, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Suzanne, he is rotting somewhere awful — Florida.

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  18. David C said on February 17, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Deborah, you also have to learn to drain your pipes. Just turning off the water will still allow the pipes to freeze and burst. You won’t get the deluge but the pipe can still burst.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on February 17, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    I simply never listened to the windbag. There were and are plenty of options for radio aficionados. When I was a captive audience, I just shut his voice out. Jeff Borden, you are the second person in my little world who mentioned old Coughlin. I say Limbaugh stepped into the Paul Harvey slot, and stepped on the gas. Paul Harvey was a master at preaching extreme conservativism wrapped in cuteness, as puppy dog and little girls’ antics, so damn cute. But the real message was right wing bullshit. Fucking Limbaugh just put the hate upon the front burner and turned on the hot air blower.
    Anybody see “Lady and The Dale” yet? It’s the study of a transsexual woman from 50 years ago. HBO Max.

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  20. Deborah said on February 17, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Agreed David C, how does one learn how to drain the pipes? I will check out Google.

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  21. Dorothy said on February 17, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    I’m listening/watching a live quilt show awards ceremony so can only cut and paste a quick link:


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  22. Deborah said on February 17, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    OMG, people in some Texas prisons have no running water. I wonder about detention facilities there for immigrants? I can only imagine. Oh the humanity.

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  23. Sherri said on February 17, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Limbaugh spewed poison just as much as if he had poured gasoline into the water supply, fouling the airwaves for fun and profit. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t think it’s a good thing that he can no longer pollute. I think the people tut-tutting over reactions to his death are showing who they are. Limbaugh himself certainly never believed in not speaking ill of the dead.

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  24. Jason T. said on February 17, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Dorothy @ 21, I have stood in the same spot where Rush Limbaugh once stood. My insurance agent has his offices in the building that was the WIXZ radio station. He uses the old studio as a conference room:


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  25. alex said on February 17, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Dex, I remember reading about the Lady and the Dale in Car & Driver in the 1970s. As I recall, they savaged the car as a piece of shit and were even less kind to the lady, but gave mad props to her just the same for having the balls to bilk investors while wearing wigs and falsies. I’ll be curious to see how Hollywood revisits the story.

    As for Oxy Rush, I’m stunned to see gushy praise of him as such a “nice man” in the comments sections of publications on social media. It’s the same kind of disconnect I get when I see reverence for Donald Trump. What fucking drugs are these people taking?

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  26. FDChief said on February 17, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Beyond the satisfaction of knowing that ol’ Rushbo has gobbled his last Viagra I’m chuffed that he went to Hell knowing his pal Tubby got fired by the U.S. public. It was way too late, but as the supposed quote say, I read his obituary with great pleasure.

    Burn in Hell, you miserable oxygen-thief.

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  27. Colleen said on February 17, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    A FB acquaintance posted that Limbaugh made the world a better place. I can’t do the mental gymnastics required to figure out how. The w0w0 message boards are full of Very Sad People. I lay the blame for much of the ugliness that passes for discourse in our nation right at Limbaugh’s feet.

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  28. FDChief said on February 17, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    A better place? Maybe if his corpse can be parted out and used as fertilizer. Other than that, nothing in Rushbo’s life was better than the value of the space he made in the leaving of it.

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  29. Heather said on February 17, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    This is pretty dark: “Hour 62 of no power in central Austin: One of my neighbors walked to 7-11 a couple hours ago and found a dead woman frozen on the sidewalk.” https://twitter.com/summeranne/status/1362165929820385284

    I’m worried the utter incompetence in the face of Katrina-level catastrophes is going to be the new normal.

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  30. Dave Kobiela said on February 17, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Reading the “Rush is dead” comments, that someone even worse could take his place, I had a horrible thought.
    Mike Pence.

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  31. alex said on February 18, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Worse indeed, Dave. Pence was a mediocre radio personality compared to Rushbo. In all fairness, though, striking a balance between smarmy piousness and maliciousness is a much tougher juggling act than just plain being malicious and he should have chosen one or the other.

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  32. Deborah said on February 18, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Is Ted Cruz really in Cancun while Texas freezes and people there are desperate?

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  33. Peter said on February 18, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Jeff at #15 hit the nail on the head- there is no financial incentive for energy producers in the Texas grid to prepare for cold weather. While so many people are pointing out that Texas isn’t on the national grid, their grid is larger and more sophisticated than many countries, but it was based on one assumption: no matter how much power can be shut off in one area due to a natural disaster, there’s plenty of reserve in the rest of the system to cover for it. And until last weekend, they were right.

    I read once that an unanticipated benefit of Texas having it’s own power grid is that they have a higher percentage of wind and solar power than the rest of the country – because it’s cheaper to tap those resources than to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure.

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  34. Little Bird said on February 18, 2021 at 9:05 am

    For someone who hated the idea of gender neutral bathrooms, he should be surprised to find that his grave will become one.
    I wish I could take credit for it, one of my FB friends wrote it.

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  35. Suzanne said on February 18, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Limbaugh was a salesman and a sleazy one at that. The right is good at sales, very good. The problem is that the product they are selling is worthless, but that doesn’t stop people from buying it. That Limbaugh died of lung cancer is pure karma as he was the epitome of a very successful tobacco salesman who makes tons of money convincing people to smoke themselves to death.

    As to all the pro-Rush accolades claiming he was a great guy, as someone stated on Twitter “John Wayne Gacy dressed up like a clown & entertained kids at parties.”

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  36. alex said on February 18, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Little Bird, that one’s so good I’m gonna steal it!

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  37. Jim said on February 18, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Bob Moser wrote an excellent summary of his “legacy” in Rolling Stone, including this:

    “If we didn’t fully recognize that before 2020, or January 6th, we ought to know it now. No single person — not Reagan, not Cheney, not McConnell, not Trump, not Q — has contributed more than Limbaugh to the mass derangement of white America.”

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  38. basset said on February 18, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Good one, LB! Some years ago I talked with a Native American who was on a trail ride from Florida to Oklahoma retracing the Trail of Tears… the horses and wagons were parked for the night at Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville, and this guy told me he was there just so he could relieve himself on Jackson’s grave. Which I expect he did at some point, didn’t see it myself though.

    Yoko Ono is 88 today.

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  39. lisa said on February 18, 2021 at 10:05 am

    I want to thank you so much for this glorious blog entry.

    My mom, deceased since 2013, loved Rush more than anyone or anything on earth.

    As long as I can remember, I’ve hated the man. Your column today made me smile from ear to ear. You said exactly what I feel.

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  40. susan said on February 18, 2021 at 11:36 am

    “If you’re looking for sympathy, you’ll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.”

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  41. Deborah said on February 18, 2021 at 11:51 am

    Cruz is on his way back from Cancun, if he hasn’t already arrived in Houston. I hope there are a gaggle of reporters waiting for him at the airport. This incident of him leaving for a beach vacation at this time was really, really bad optics, what was he thinking? Clueless.

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  42. Suzanne said on February 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    What was Cruz thinking?
    “Let them eat frozen cake!”

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  43. David C said on February 18, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    I think “Let them eat frozen cake” was Clarence Birdseye’s.

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  44. Little Bird said on February 18, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Anyone here remember Limbaugh’s line of neckties? My father had a few, probably still has them and probably thinks they’re worth something now. He was so proud of those ties, and I remember just being thoroughly disgusted.

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  45. Brandon said on February 18, 2021 at 12:28 pm


    Cf. https://www.wyattingrahamdesigns.com/

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  46. Deborah said on February 18, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Just to clear this up, LB’s dad, my ex, had those Rush ties after my time. They were bought for him by his current wife. My ex did have a brief time when he was enthralled with listening to Rush when I was still around. I don’t know if it was a brief period of time because I complained a lot about not wanting to be subjected to listening to it too, in the house or car, or if he just got bored with listening.

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  47. Sherri said on February 18, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Ted Cruz threw his kids under the bus, blaming them for the trip to Cancun, .

    If Ronald Reagan taught Republicans that selfishness was good, and Rush Limbaugh taught them that being an asshole is good, I guess Donald Trump has taught them to throw everyone else under the bus.

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  48. Mark P said on February 18, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    So, can we now add his children to the extremely long list of those who do not like Ted Cruz?

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  49. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    So many witty comments today; keep them coming!

    Speaking of ties and such, did you read that Alex Trebek’s wardrobe was donated to a program that helps ex-cons get back on their feet? There was a really sweet story in the WaPo that left me in tears. The men who received them were energized and encouraged by having something of Trebek’s. We have a similar program here that got Dennis’ work clothes; not as special as Trebek’s of course, but we were happy to help.

    And if you haven’t read Trebek’s memoir, it too is sweet and will help restore your faith in humanity.

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  50. Sherri said on February 18, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    A 12 Step program for white supremacy. The prayer at the end, whew.


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  51. FDChief said on February 18, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Justin Peters has an outstanding take on Dead Rush over at Slate. Here’s his conclusion:

    “Limbaugh was at the vanguard of this (the freakish echo-chamber conservative media world) experiment, and it worked so well that the country is now frequently at the mercy of a bunch of malevolent loons. It’s not that everything bad about American politics today can be traced back to Limbaugh. It’s that the sneering, self-pitying, bad-faith style of argument that he perfected is practiced not just by right-wing media, but by many right-wing politicians, too. Every senator who jumps on television at a moment’s notice to whine about cancel culture even as hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of a virus that many on the right had been loath to admit even existed; every representative who exalts baseless conspiracies while railing against stimulus payments for the unemployed; every governor who cares more about owning the libs than about administering their state; every local official who seems not just to misunderstand the role of government, but to actively resent it: They are all Limbaugh’s children. The mean, self-pitying illogic he mainstreamed is endemic now. The chief ghoul is gone, but the ghoulishness is here to stay.”

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  52. Deborah said on February 18, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Sherri correctly said upthread that Limbaugh was a person who never suffered any consequences for his words or behavior. Much like Trump. And here now we have an example in Cancun Cruz of someone who was/is utterly unable to comprehend that his actions might result in negative consequences. And he’s probably right with regard to his fellow Republicans, they’ll spin it and skew it and squint until it’s perfectly acceptable to them. And they’re the only ones Cruz remotely bothers to even think about mattering. It’s kind of amazing when you contemplate how the Republican voters have been conditioned and propagandized into falling in line.

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  53. Sherri said on February 18, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Consequences are for other people.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on February 18, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    “Cancun Cruz.” Sweet, Deborah. That will leave a mark.

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  55. brian stouder said on February 18, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    A tremendous post, and thread! The odd set of reactions I had to Uncle Rush’s passing is captured here, and elucidated better than I could have.

    Way back in the day (when I was in my 20’s) I was a conservative Republican who loved-loved-loved Jack Kemp and William F Buckley (then syndicated in Nance’s old paper) and Jeane Kirkpatrick; and I subscribed to the National Review (WFB’s old magazine) and American Spectator (I forget the crazy guy who ran that one), and belonged to the Conservative Book Club, and…..well, you get the picture!

    At some point, the edges wore off, and I moderated – especially when I got pulled into Ken Burns’ Civil War series, and then read lots of Civil War books (especially Shelby Foote’s 3 volume magnum opus), and all roads lead back to Lincoln, and that was another driver of filling our shelves with Lincoln books (and going to Fort Wayne’s then-magnificent Lincoln Museum…but we digress!), and…and…what was I saying?

    Oh yeah – all that “Conservative” stuff wore right off.

    I will say that, even at my most “conservative” stage, I never liked Uncle Rush. If pressed, I’d like to think Buckley (et al) wouldn’t have liked him, either, but I suspect that’s akin to believing in Santa Claus and/or the Tooth Fairy

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  56. Deborah said on February 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    I’m pretty sure I read “Cancun Cruz” somewhere on the Internet today, don’t remember where, I thought it was perfect. It’s not original, wish it was.

    It makes me sick when Cruz says “Heide and I…” as if including his wife in it absolves him of any possible wrong doing. It’s a joke my husband and I use when we know we messed up.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 18, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Consequences . . . just to note I’d bet a Rush Limbaugh vintage tie, which I do not own nor do I want one of, that his hearing loss was due to oxycontin abuse. So there’s that.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Chasten Buttigieg: If you like pina coladas and getting caught on a plane. Dying!

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  59. Brandon said on February 18, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    I’d like to think Buckley (et al) wouldn’t have liked him, either… .

    Buckley is quoted on the back cover of The Way Things Ought to Be:

    “Whenever I hear Rush Limbaugh I marvel on two counts, the first that his war on Political Correctness is tolerated, the second, that it is enjoyed by liberals (the Germans call that Schandenfreude, the wretchedly paradoxical joy that some people take from enduring pain). It’s like a jolt of champagne [Emphasis mine] for most of us, reorienting the day, reassuring us that social disorders haven’t disturbed the essential movements of the planet.”

    From a 2004 PBS interview.


    No, I’m just wondering what you — forget personal commentary. … When a voice like Rush Limbaugh emerges and becomes as successful as he is, how does that strike you?


    Well, of course I’m grateful because I’m a fan, and I believe in most of the things he believes in.

    There are stylistic differences which [inaudible] the fact that he’s broadcasting 15 hours a week, and under the circumstances, has to be repetitious.

    I’m trying to think whether there’s anything that you’re scratching for, that you think I should…

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  60. Sherri said on February 18, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?

    Because it saves time.


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  61. LAMary said on February 19, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Today I was in another, “who’s got the most punchable face,” discussion and while we all thought Ted Cruz was in the top three I had to stick with Jared Kushner. Donny Jr. and Stephen Miller are contenders as well. I think that at least for today it’s Ted. As Ana Cabrera said on CNN, he blamed his daughters for this because he couldn’t blame the dog. She also said that we were not sending our best people to Mexico.

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  62. Sherri said on February 19, 2021 at 12:42 am

    As AOC said, if Cruz had just resigned after helping incite insurrection a month ago, he could have taken a vacation this week in peace.

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  63. Dorothy said on February 19, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Sit back, take a deep breath and read this.


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  64. LAMary said on February 19, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Dorothy, I hear these sort of stories from nurse friends often. They are tough people and this pandemic is really testing them. I hear them talk about the people who thought it was a hoax or no worse than the flu. The nurses and doctors have deal with the family members who are still in denial while the nurses are fighting to keep someone alive. They try not to scream at the family members. My friend Alex is a nurse executive at Martin Luther King Medical Center in a tough part of LA. She sees black and brown families who work in jobs that don’t allow remote working. Working in food service or cleaning positions with little or no protection, losing a father or a grandmother. That hospital has one of the highest death rates in the county. Alex is hanging in there,stressed and frustrated. This is one of the reasons I want trump to spend the rest of his days being sued, tried for crimes, broke, in prison. He could have mitigated this horror and he didn’t. He made it worse. He lied to people and that caused a lot of death and pain and sickness. On behalf of my nursing friends I want the worst for that monster.

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  65. alex said on February 19, 2021 at 11:12 am


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  66. Suzanne said on February 19, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    The speed with which Heidi Cruz’s texts came to light told me how disliked the Cancun Cruz’s are. Real friends wouldn’t rat them out so quickly, if at all.

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  67. Suzanne said on February 19, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    This is fabulous!

    I hope Cancun Cruz watches it.

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  68. Robert said on February 19, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Nancy – thanks for another good column – you deserve a break. I’ll have to content myself with another installment of the Shower Cap blog.

    Many clever comments – I will definitely steal/pass them on, especially the one by Littlebird’s FB friend on gender neutral bathrooms …

    “Chattenfreude” – sehr gut!

    re: Texas’s woes – there’s an old Texas saying that describes the GOP leadership (?!?) of the state, “They couldn’t pour water out of a boot if the directions were on the heel.”

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  69. Deborah said on February 19, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Here’s another good one I saw on Twitter

    Ted Cruz 2024: Yes We Cancun

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  70. David C said on February 19, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Elvis Costello got “Brilliant Mistake” right.


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  71. Brandon said on February 19, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Rush Limbaugh’s radio show will remain on air ‘until his audience is prepared to say goodbye’

    The Rush Limbaugh Show will continue to be broadcast using old clips of the conservative icon’s voice and will continue “until his audience is prepared to say goodbye,” Premiere Networks, a division of iHeartMedia that oversees the program, said in an internal memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Limbaugh can continue to be heard from noon to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on February 19, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    And right on time, Florida Governor Ron wanna-be-Trump DeSantis orders the state flags lowered to half mast for Limbaugh. Vomit.

    We spent the whole morning researching Medicare supplements and I have a headache.

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  73. JodiP said on February 19, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    I loved the chattenfreude thing! So glad these folks ratted out the Cancun Cruzes!

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  74. Jeff Borden said on February 19, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    A friend of mine, noticing the knob governor of Floriduh ordered flags to half-mast to honor the dead bigot, is saluting Limbaugh by leaving his toilet seat up.

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  75. LAMary said on February 19, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Julie, I just signed up with United Health for my supplemental medicare. The plan looks good but I am always skeptical so we’ll see after a year if it still looks good. My brother is happy with them and he has a lot of health problems (diabetes, microfractures of the spine, one year out of chemo for cancer of the esophagus, macular degeneration,copd, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues)but he also has considerably more disposable income than I. But after reviewing a couple of plans none were standouts so I went with the AARP one.

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  76. Julie Robinson said on February 19, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    He decided to only get the Part D drug plan. We shall see how sensible that is. We did tons of research, and met with a SHIP counselor a year ago, but it is very confusing. When my turn comes I will want to meet with that guy again. I will start much further out than 10 days. Ahem.

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  77. Dexter Friend said on February 20, 2021 at 1:54 am

    You have followed the saga of Carla Lee, and you may recall she was in hospitals and rehab centers for knee surgery infections, and in nursing homes since June of 2020. She amassed a staggering amount of bills, and being a Medicare patient, was responsible for 20% of this mountain she would have faced, but for a wonderful secondary Medicare supplementary policy from a company in Houston, Texas that an independent local agent found for us years ago. It is Manhattan Life and they are wonderful. Right now the offices are closed until the Texas disaster is rectified. They PAY.
    10777 Northwest Freeway
    Houston, Texas 77092

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  78. alex said on February 20, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Maybe Roger Stone’s gonna get his just deserts after all. Alex Jones too.

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  79. alex said on February 20, 2021 at 10:56 am


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  80. basset said on February 20, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Cigna supplementary coverage has worked well for us.

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  81. LAMary said on February 20, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    I just stole both your links, Alex and shared them on facebook.

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  82. Sherri said on February 20, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    The other parents at the private school his daughters attends aren’t too fond of Ted Cruz, either.


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  83. Sherri said on February 20, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Here’s the thing: Ted Cruz is a US Senator. He couldn’t think of a single thing he could do to help the people of his state during a massive crisis. Still doesn’t seem to have thought of anything.

    What is the point of being a Senator if not to use that power and influence when the people of your state are in crisis?

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  84. David C said on February 20, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Q-anon and things like that is why I don’t follow any family, co-workers, or former school mates on social media. I’d rather not know they’re into crazy conspiracy theories. I did at one time until a brother-in-law became a 9-11 truther. I wouldn’t be surprised to find he’s into Q. A long time ago I quietly started muting them. So I mostly follow scientists, journalists, smart-asses, and women rabbis for some reason.

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  85. alex said on February 20, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    David C, I’ve had to unfriend some in-laws over their ass-hattery and don’t know whether I can go back to tolerating their company when COVID’s over.

    Here’s a post I saw today:


    I am seriously tempted to comment “And imbeciles who know nothing about any of those things lecture us on Facebook.”

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  86. Dexter Friend said on February 20, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Jeezuss Kreist! A UAL Boeing 777 leaving DIA lost an engine… United 328… total engine failure, and debris everywhere…a huge engine cowling landed right in someone’s front yard beside their stoop. It landed safely on a Mayday call-guidance protocol. Fuck! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzb8IKwsd4E

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  87. Heather said on February 20, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Cruz is doing nothing that I know of; meanwhile AOC flew to Texas to help with relief efforts. I’m sure they’ll find a way to hold that against her.

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  88. LAMary said on February 20, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    AOC also raised 3 million to help Texans. That’ll really piss them off.

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  89. Deborah said on February 20, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    My husband and I both got Silver Script as our Medicare D options and boy do I regret that. It has been sold since we got it to some other entity which I can’t remember the name of and I’m trying hard not to remember, because it’s painful. I haven’t got the mojo yet to change to another provider because the research experience is sooooo painful. So far they’ve not covered ANY of my prescriptions. They do cover my husbands statins (spellings?) so he’s happy but for me it’s totally useless.

    Yeah the right wing is furious that Beto and AOC have done way more than they have in Texas. You reap what you sow.

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  90. LAMary said on February 20, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    The insurance I got from the temp agency is really terrible. So far they have not reimbursed me for my flu shot that I got on October 12 and of the fifty percent they said they paid for replacing a crown they paid 259 dollars of 1000. I got rid of that and got part b Medicare and a supplemental plan but I’m looking for a better dental plan that I’ll pay for.

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  91. David C said on February 20, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    I saw the right wing’s latest freak out is that Joe’s 14 year old dog looks like a 14 year old dog. So that shows they got nothing on him. They’re going to keep trying to rake up nonsense like this and nothing is going to stick.

    Mary turns 63 Monday so in less than two years we have some decisions to make on what to do for her Medicare. I know the state has an agency to help guide us through these decisions. I hope once we figure it out it will be easier but deciding on what supplemental or Medicare Advantage plan to choose feels confusing right now.

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  92. jcburns said on February 20, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    I hear Joe Namath has some ideas about supplemental medicare.

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  93. Sherri said on February 20, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    The NHL had a sun delay today. Too much sun at the outdoor game at Lake Tahoe made the ice unplayable in the middle of the second period this afternoon, so the game will be resumed after dark.

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  94. alex said on February 21, 2021 at 12:43 am

    And Tom Selleck wants to sell you a reverse mortgage.

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  95. LAMary said on February 21, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Tom Selleck is so sincere and earnest in those commercials. He just wants to help us. Joe on the other hand makes me sad that he’s in a position to need rides to the doctor. Doesn’t he have anyone to drive him? Is he too broke to get an uber? Joe, what happened?

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  96. diane said on February 21, 2021 at 8:48 am

    On FB or Twitter somewhere, someone also made Sherri’s excellent point above that Ted Cruz seems to have no idea what a Senator could do in a crisis in his state and then added the fact (also mentioned above) that AOC and Beto have done tons and offered the conclusion that perhaps the two parties are different after all.
    Al Franken also offers some practical advice in this thread on what a Senator can do; it seems to me that Cruz could have thought of one or two of these: https://twitter.com/alfranken/status/1362956111725416450?s=21

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  97. alex said on February 21, 2021 at 9:56 am

    One Republican contradiction that bears pointing out is that GOP state legislatures are right now legislating away the emergency powers of governors. Clearly Trumpist Republicans believe that people need to pull up their own bootstraps in a crisis and quit their whining.

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  98. Sherri said on February 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    That people should not have government to bail them out during an emergency is a long-desired Republican aim to turn back the New Deal. Before FDR, the concept that the government would help people in a crisis was alien.

    When Republicans speak of smaller government, that is the context and history.

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  99. Deborah said on February 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    The Texas debacle has made clear, in this country we have two incredibly major problems coming together: climate crises and infrastructure crises. This needs a massive undertaking at a monumental scale that only a government can provide. Free markets and privatization can’t handle it. Obviously.

    Another excellent video by Matthew Cooke https://vimeo.com/514845474

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  100. Julie Robinson said on February 21, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Deborah, you are so right. How about another round of the Civilian Conservation Corps? Jobs + rebuilding infrastructure = win-win.

    Joe Namath doesn’t look too good anymore; maybe that’s why he’s having trouble hailing cabs. Wasn’t his nickname Broadway Joe? Speaking of things I don’t want to see, I just looked up at the TV and saw this: George Brett opens up about hemorrhoids right before 1980 World Series. Mercifully, the TV was muted.

    The drug plan Dennis went with is $73/year, premiums and meds included for his one pill a week. What shocked me is that for the same coverage, he could pay $1796/year. I will be definitely be visiting the SHIP counselor before it’s my turn in October.

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  101. Sherri said on February 21, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    So now we’ve got consumers with electric bills of thousands of dollars in Texas because wholesale energy suppliers were allowed to sell to end users with no cap on rates. This was a market designed to end badly as soon as any kind of shock hit and screw over a bunch of people.

    Those consumers aren’t going to pay those bills. My question is, who is? If federal tax dollars are used to pay any of those companies, then I want some regulation on that market.

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  102. Deborah said on February 21, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Some right wing nuts are now saying that the snow and frigid weather in Texas was manipulated by a leftist cabal to mess with politics there and push climate change and the green new deal. These people are beyond help. There are no words.

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  103. LAMary said on February 21, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Speaking of terrible people, Kellyanne Conway showed up virtually to cheer on her daughter who auditioned for American Ido. Dad was there in person. Daughter was wearing leather leggings and a scarf tied around her breasts as a top. She’s 15. She sang okayish. One judge voted no. I don’t know who that guy was and I was not motivated to find out. Lionel Ritchie and Katie Perry acted truly interested in developing this girl’s talent. Katie appeared to be wearing a floral bedspread around her shoulders. They told her she’s going to Hollywood. I haven’t watched American Idol in a few years but from what I remember of 15 year old girl singers on there the Conway daughter sounded like a lot of them except they didn’t go to Hollywood. We can look forward to some Conway attention sucking in the future.

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  104. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Wait, are you saying “Idol” is really not a talent competition but a highly produced artificial narrative aimed at gleaning ratings?

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  105. john not mccain said on February 21, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Just finished the 1st ep of the Allen v. Farrow doc on HBO. Not for the faint of heart toward the end so I imagine the rest will enrage me even more. I hope they ask Mia what she thinks about people watching his movies. If you want to see her in a big part it’s pretty much either Woody or Roman. Maybe I’m forgetting one.

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  106. LAMary said on February 22, 2021 at 12:09 am

    I’m beginning to suspect that’s the case, Jeff.

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  107. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 1:23 am

    Last spring, as it became clear that we were dealing with a serious pandemic, I tried to estimate what an upper bound on the death toll in the US would be. I understand what geometric growth means, and I understood that we had a president who would be actively making things worse. I considered 250K, but rejected it as too low, then 500K, and then was too depressed to think about it anymore.

    Here we are, 500K deaths later. The good news is, we have a vaccine, and deaths are dropping. It didn’t have to be this bad.

    I was having a bad day today. I’m so tired of everything. Everything seems broken. But my daughter came over, and we hung out and watched Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, which I hadn’t seen and enjoyed. So maybe everything isn’t shit.

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  108. Suzanne said on February 22, 2021 at 6:33 am

    I watched American Idol the first couple of years. Then I talked to someone who had gone to the mass audition in Chicago and was enlightened that the so-called 1st round auditions that you see on tv with the celeb judges are really the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Those horrible singers or the ok singers with great backstories or the people who are obviously tries wrecks are purposely put through for the drama.
    Honestly, I despise reality tv. It’s tv but there is nothing real about it.

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  109. Mark P said on February 22, 2021 at 8:56 am

    And Sherri, Trump’s damage is not done yet. His undermining of confidence in medical science is going to kill people going forward. There are reports of even healthcare professionals who refuse the vaccine. He’s the gift from hell that just keeps giving.

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  110. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Daughters have magical powers.

    Our son auditioned for Idol in a huge cattle call. They had to drive up to Chicago, be there super early, pay $20 for parking and buy all their food and drinks while there, then wait around all day to audition. The judges (not the ones from the show) were clearly over it all by the time he sang and were visibly unengaged. Only the venue came out ahead.

    I’ve never watched the show because in the few clips I’ve seen most were singing out of tune.

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  111. Jenine said on February 22, 2021 at 10:40 am

    @Sherri, glad the spiderverse did its job. I was feeling down this past weekend. It’s a hard end to this winter. Hope everyone here will use your resources and get through.

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  112. Deborah said on February 22, 2021 at 11:26 am

    The highs in Chicago for the next 10 days are supposed to be in the 30s, I hope this is the end of the brutal temps for the season. February is almost over isn’t it? Of course it can continue snowing for a while. Bummer.

    One of my nieces is a rabid vaccine denier, she thinks it’s a big worldwide conspiracy to control everyone so they’ll think pharma is their savior and then can make trillions more $. Her husband is an assistant principal of a high school and she has 3 kids, says they won’t get the vaccine unless they’re forced. And my right wing sister is furious that younger people of color can get the vaccine before she can when they’re essential workers. She thinks the state of Minnesota where she lives is using the vaccine to be “politically correct”. I told her that was propagandistic hogwash she probably heard on Fox News, so I’ve no doubt triggered another period of non-communication with her and I don’t really care.

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  113. Sherri said on February 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

    I wish there were half as much energy spent on the people who have been the target of serious death threats as there has been on the so-called victims of “cancel culture.”


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