Skirmishes ahead.

From the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency — which is to say, since the election — I’ve been appalled and puzzled by the tenacity of Republicans who’ve continued to press the case that votes were somehow stolen, blah blah blah.

This is because I am stupid, and also a fool.

It’s pretty obvious what the game is, now. They’re going to use “valid concerns about election integrity” to roll back reforms that have made voting easier for more people. This won’t be possible everywhere; in Michigan in 2018, voters approved, by a wide margin, election reform via constitutional amendment, and once something’s in the state constitution, it’s very difficult to remove it. But other states have GOP legislatures going after voting rights hammer and tongs. Georgia is talking about restricting early voting, favored by Black churches that do “souls to the polls” outreach. There are others.

Needless to say, this is all bolstered by “concerns” about “election irregularities,” i.e. Democrats finding it too easy to vote absentee in a pandemic. Many of these concerns are pure bullshit. Ballots were not mailed unsolicited, at least not in Michigan. (Ballot requests were; I spent a week in October processing them at the now-notorious TCF Center.) The late-night “ballot dump” there was the last batch of last-minute absentee ballots, legally submitted. And so on.

The Detroit News did a really good piece on how Antrim County, an overwhelmingly conservative county in northern Michigan, had a ballot glitch that was caught when the results came in, and had Biden decidedly beating Trump. It was caught, fixed, and double-checked with a hand recount of several thousand ballots. And yet, the county clerk is still opening her email and finding accusations of deep-state blah-blah election chicanery.

Most of you won’t be able to read that story, because it’s paywalled, but here’s a poignant passage:

At the center of the firestorm is a passionate and plainspoken 59-year-old Republican clerk who said she hasn’t taken a vacation since 2008. Guy has faced threats and name-calling. The fallout has left her afraid for the country’s future and altered politically.

“I voted Republican. I’ll never do it again, I don’t think,” Guy said last week. “I just think it’s a changed party.”

Here’s an un-paywalled, condensed version available to the general public.

So this is why we can’t back down from pressing a case against the Capitol rioters, against every dimwitted or sharp-witted legislator who would repeal voting rights, who would try to poison the grassroots. We just can’t. It’s too important:

Last week, lawyers representing the state council of the Service Employees International Union sent a letter to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm requesting a criminal investigation into whether laws were broken when 10 would-be Wisconsin electors sympathetic to Trump met behind closed doors at the state Capitol on Dec. 14 and tried to appoint themselves as the state’s representatives to the electoral college.

The group signed illegitimate certificates of election and sent the fake documents to federal and state officials proclaiming that Trump had won the state’s electoral votes.

…“Some of this is about trying to bring bad actors to account. But the bigger part is trying to make sure we never go through something like this again,” said Jeffrey A. Mandell, a lawyer representing the union. “We have seen an intensification from election to election of how far people are willing to push these issues. And we need it to stop.”

And since the right wing is basically calling for this to happen again, we have to keep pressing it. They’re a minority party now, but they think that entitles them to rule forever. Sorry, no.

Also, fuck Clarence Thomas.

And get well soon, Tiger Woods. But I fear your golf career is over.

Wednesday dead ahead.

Posted at 8:46 am in Current events |
 

61 responses to “Skirmishes ahead.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2021 at 9:50 am

    When you are a minority party like the GOP, the only shot you have at national prominence is limiting votes to those who support you since the policies you espouse out of step with the majority of Americans. This has been the long game Moscow Mitch is playing. . .pack those lower federal courts with rightwing ideologues who will stand as a bulwark against people of color, younger voters, urbanites and all those who don’t embrace conservative policies.

    Part of the blame falls on Democrats, who have sadly neglected the state and county battlegrounds. When states meet to redraw congressional voting districts based on the 2020 census, a sizable majority will be done by Republicans looking to gerrymander the ever-loving shit out of their states. It’s how a repulsive hemorrhoid like Jockstrap Gym Jordan can maintain a seat despite his utter lack of accomplishments. He’s just another loud-mouthed asshole but he’s almost unbeatable.

    At some point, federal elections need to be run by the federal government. We also need to abolish the Electoral College sooner than later. Neither of these actions is likely to happen in my lifetime, but they are the only way this nation will have an honestly representative government.

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  2. Mark P said on February 24, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Part of the problem is that Republican voters are so damned stupid and ignorant. Some of them can’t tell the difference between a mail-in absentee ballot and an application for a mail-in ballot. Some got multiple applications and claimed they got multiple ballots.

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  3. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Since when has old Uncle Thomas been concerned about appearances? He profits directly from his wife’s cray-cray political activism and his own outspokenness on right-wing causes has always been unseemly for a jurist. Where does he get off feigning concern for appearances?

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  4. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Here’s a story that’ll have you yearning for more innocent times:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/fanne-foxe-dies/2021/02/24/87c04e6e-5e4c-11ea-b014-4fafa866bb81_story.html

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  5. LAMary said on February 24, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/orange-is-the-new-orange-trump-just-might-go-to-jail/ar-BB1dVTSC?ocid=msedgdhp

    The greasy orange stain might be headed for the pokey.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Regarding the point I made above. . .

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/23/republican-voter-suppression-kicks-into-high-gear/

    It’s really appalling that one of our two major political parties doesn’t really believe in democracy.

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  7. Sherri said on February 24, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Fuck John Roberts and Shelby County v. Holder, the decision that opened the floodgates for the vote suppressors.

    I keep telling you, people believe this nonsense not because they’re stupid or crazy or out of touch with reality, but because it allows them to hide the ugly truth from themselves: they’re white supremacists. Sure, they have no problem with their black grand babies, and think that means they’re not racist. They just happen to think everything is better with white men on top.

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  8. LAMary said on February 24, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    It’s more comfortable for some people to believe that crap. Reality demands growth and thought. Believing trump did many wonderful things for everyman, while you know it’s not true, is easier than realizing you were duped.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Speaking of tRump, I’m dreading the verbal diarrhea he’ll be hurling all over the hatefest down in Florida when CPAC gathers, though it’s been fun to watch Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney butting heads over the former preznit. Well, at least Young Pharoah has been disinvited.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/23/politics/cpac-cancels-speaker-anti-semitic-comments/index.html

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  10. Deborah said on February 24, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    I would love it if the former guy would be indicted and convicted of tax fraud or something but I’m not holding my breath, he’s gotten away with so much all of his life. I know they finally got Capone on tax evasion even though he’d had people murdered, so who knows.

    I think he’ll get sued a lot and will have to pay damages that’s probably the best that can be done.

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  11. Suzanne said on February 24, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    So, Jeff B, disinviting a speaker to CPAC because of anti-semitic hate speech is cancel culture, right? So, the right can do the cancel culture thing but nobody else can?
    I get so confused…

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  12. Sherri said on February 24, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Even better, the theme of CPAC 2021 is “America Uncancelled”.

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  13. LAMary said on February 24, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Deborah, the correct title is twice impeached former.

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  14. Deborah said on February 24, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    You’re right LAMary, I won’t forget next time. I don’t want to ever use his name again, or any names of his family. They’ll be for instance “the older daughter of the twice impeached former guy” etc, or something like that.

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on February 24, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    It’s so obvious what they’re doing. Georgia even wants to make it illegal to take food and water to voters waiting in line at polling places! How much more goddamned obvious can they make it?

    What I wonder is, when are they going to cross the line into outright thuggery? Winking and looking the other way when heavily armed “militia members” show up at polling places to “check IDs,” that kind of thing? Can’t be far off. We’re going to see voter suppression unrivalled since the Jim Crow South.

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  16. Deborah said on February 24, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    What could possibly be wrong with offering food and water to people waiting in long lines at polling places? I had accumulated a bunch of umbrellas over the years of walking to and from work in unexpected downpours, I’d duck in and buy a $5 umbrella at Walgreens. On an Election Day a few years back when it was raining I gave them out, they were just taking up room in our limited storage space anyway. I suppose that would be illegal in those states? How disgusting to be that obviously unempathetic.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    As my man Charles P. Pierce points out frequently, cruelty isn’t a bug in Republican politics. It’s a feature.

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  18. Joe Kobiela said on February 24, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    No the correct title is twice impeached former found NOT guilty.
    Pilot Joe

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  19. David C said on February 24, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    Real courts aren’t going to be quite so amenable, Joe.

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  20. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    found NOT guilty by a bunch of COWARDS afraid of DUPES like YOU.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on February 24, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Mmmm, Pilot Joe, his impeachment acquittals, which as Alex notes above were almost entirely partisan, mean nada to history. The rotten rat bastard will wear impeachment around his neck until his dying day. The double impeachments will be in the first sentence of his obituary. Not his myriad business failures. Not his diseased presidency. Not his scores of crimes. Not his sexual assaults. Impeachment.

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  22. LAMary said on February 24, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Still twice impeached, Joe and still acquitted by 43 people who made up their minds before the hearing even started. Don’t worry. The DC district attorney is working up a case against him and NYC, NY state, southern district US attorney, Georgia secretary of state are all ready to file charges. As a twice impeached ex president he is no longer protected from indictments. Oh, and there are civil suits too. Then there is Deutsche Bank. They have a gripe with him as well. His neighbors near Mar A Lago want him to leave, too. He signed an agreement to not live there and he has to uphold it. He still has his imaginary apartment on floors 65-68 of trump tower, a 58 story building.

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  23. Joe Kobiela said on February 24, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
    Pilot Joe

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  24. Sherri said on February 24, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Sorry, just my reaction to a certain someone showing up around here after he told us all how funny it would be when COVID disappeared after the election.

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  25. Jakash said on February 24, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    “Skirmishes ahead,” indeed.

    I saw this earlier today, but didn’t want to possibly summon HeWho by mentioning it. But, hey, he showed up anyway.

    From the 2019 nn.c thread on the right:

    PJ: … “Keep up the attitude for 2 more years like you did in the run up to this election, calling conservatives deplorable homophobic racist uneducated bible clinging gun owners, and there is a darn good chance you will get another 4 years of Mr Trump.” …

    There were a number of replies, of course… Here was part of mine: “‘Keep up the attitude for 2 more years’ and maybe we’ll flip the Senate and the presidency the way we flipped the House last year, eh?”

    That was just wishful thinking back then, needless to say. I gotta say though, the fact that it actually worked out that way takes quite a bit of the annoyance out of our resident troll’s bloviations. His guy, rather than getting “another 4 years” is well on his way to crippling the Republican party. After losing by over 7 million votes. And getting impeached twice. And having the Republican presidential nominee from 2012 vote to convict him both times.

    Given where things stood in the middle of 2018, that’s quite a legacy. You’d think, if one were a reasonable person, it would kinda suck to back such a loser.

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  26. susan said on February 24, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    The troll won again. Why take the bait? Can’t believe y’all do that. It’s pointless.

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  27. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Susan, you train some dogs not to shit by rubbing their face in it.

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  28. susan said on February 24, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Rubbing its shit in its face doesn’t seem to work, Alex.

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  29. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    When euthanizing isn’t an option, you re-home it with someone else and let them deal with it.

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  30. Deborah said on February 24, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I wondered when he’d show up, defending his police beating with American flags, eye gouging, Capitol halls defecating, murderous buddies. And here he finally is standing up for his leader, in all his decadent besmirched glory.

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  31. alex said on February 24, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Maybe we can place him with 8chan or one of these booby hatches where he’ll get plenty of red meat and will be content not to roam. Although if it were up to me I’d snip his nuts.

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  32. susan said on February 25, 2021 at 12:03 am

    And then embed it a set of neuticals.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on February 25, 2021 at 1:52 am

    54% of repuggs love and believe and support Trump 2024. Trump is THE leader of the GOP and will be the 2024 candidate as it appears today. (figures: “The Reidout”, msnbc, 2-24-21) Cruz is at 3%, Romney at 4%. Donny T is in the mix, like 7%. This is why SDNY lawyers and judges must imprison the bastard for years-on-end, to keep him locked up past 2024. We have had enough of him.
    And, no, I am not highly educated, so I admit I never heard of The Senate Parliamentarian before last night. Biden’s team has declared they are not having Kamala Harris override her decision if she decides not to add the tag-along $15 per hour minimum wage part of the 1.9T recovery package for the nation’s people. Now, some people are outraged, as we all know if Pence had the power to override the Parliamentarian he would positively do it. Oh…the House has one too…it is a person who has the power to define procedure and stance, protocol and finality.

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  34. ROGirl said on February 25, 2021 at 5:22 am

    When I find poop on the floor I blame my cat, but she always denies it was her.

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  35. David C said on February 25, 2021 at 5:57 am

    I took a psychology course where the teacher used the rubbing a dogs nose in its crap as an example of ineffective punishments. She said a guy got a puppy and when it did its business on the floor the guy rubbed the dog’s nose in it and threw it out the window. After a while the dog learned. So the dog would crap on the floor, rub his nose in it, and jump out the window.

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  36. diane said on February 25, 2021 at 6:59 am

    The rubbing a dog’s face in it’s poop thing is a stupid, mean and useless training technique. Same with a troll. If you want a troll to go away, don’t feed him. If you want one to come around because you are entertained, give him the reaction he is looking for.

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  37. JodiP said on February 25, 2021 at 10:14 am

    I just found out I will be able to get vaccinated on Sunday through my county employer. This will allow our social workers to begin seeing people in person again, which is critical. I cried with relief for about five minutes. I am so happy.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2021 at 10:17 am

    My wife, who has COPD and chronic bronchitis, is getting vaccine shot #1 on Saturday. Her medical team at Swedish Covenant got her all set up and we’re grateful they were proactive.

    I’m continuing to search. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Very discouraging particularly as so many friends in other states who are my age have received theirs.

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  39. Heather said on February 25, 2021 at 11:10 am

    This article on the schism in various churches on the topic of Trump and the GOP is very good but depressing; might be of interest to Jeff tmmo and others who have dealt with this issue.

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/opinion/americas-churches-are-now-polarized-too

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  40. Jenine said on February 25, 2021 at 11:18 am

    So heartening to hear about new vax appointments. Jeff B, I’m sorry it’s been discouraging, I hope your number comes up asap.

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  41. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Heather,

    I worked for Crain’s Chicago Business for 15 years. . .the greatest journalistic experience of my life. And then they hired a sociopathic editor and –kaboom– I’m now an unemployed adjunct professor. Oh, well. It was wonderful while it lasted and I still get to live in Chicago.

    Jenine,

    Thank you. I’m so glad for my wife. She’s been worried about this for awhile.

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  42. Deborah said on February 25, 2021 at 11:51 am

    It’s so wonderful to read that many of you are getting the vaccine. I think this is really going to work.

    I’ve been watching the 2nd season of Abstract on Netflix, I am always overwhelmed with inspiration after I watch an episode. It makes me want to make something.

    We are celebrating the 5th anniversary of closing on our Chicago place, we’re making a special dinner and have a good bottle of wine to go with it. We’re finding small things to celebrate to make staying at home more interesting. On March 1st we’re going to celebrate our move to Chicago 18 years ago.

    Another thing I’m doing is trying to vary the decor of our place like changing fresh flowers every once in a while, which is common thing to do. We have these troughs in our marble floors where the walls came out, it’s hard to explain, but there’s a 4′ area that I use to change seasonally. In the fall I usually fill the seasonal trough with very small gourds and pumpkins, sometimes I add dried seed pods etc. For the Christmas holidays one year I filled the trough with jingle bells. One time I planted real succulents in it (first I lined it with plastic to keep water from being a problem). The succulents didn’t last very long because we’re gone so much of the year, I had to pay someone to come in and water them every week when we were in NM, which was ridiculous. This valentines season I filled the trough with small red heart shaped “marbles”. My next version is going to be tiny green shamrock lights, I ordered the lights from Amazon, not sure how they’re going to work in the trough yet but I’m optimistic. Sometimes I put photos of these on my Facebook page, but I often forget. I try not to repeat myself, by adding various elements from time to time, I reuse but not in the same way. What can I say, it helps pass the time and I enjoy thinking up things to use and reuse. Since these things are in the floor they have to be unobtrusive yet attract enough attention so you don’t step on them, the seasonal changeable trough area is near the window in an area that doesn’t get much/any traffic.

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  43. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    This short article in The Atlantic, which you should be able to access, is well worth reading. The author is comparing the state of the current GOP to the late stage Communist Party in the USSR. Before anyone leaps up to protest such a comparison, please read it first.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/the-republican-party-is-now-in-its-end-stages/618132/

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  44. LAMary said on February 25, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I get my second vaccination on Saturday morning. Another trip through the Dodger Stadium parking lot, masked and shortsleeved.
    I think that between now and 2024 something might convince the trumpazoids to give it a rest. They might find someone equally odious but I think all the legal trouble that’s going to hit the house of trump might slow them down. Of course there will be idiots who think all the court cases are a lefty plot. That’s never going to go away.

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  45. Suzanne said on February 25, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Jeff, I just came across that article as well. It is very very good. The author is extremely knowledgeable (https://usnwc.edu/Faculty-and-Departments/Directory/Thomas-M-Nichols) and is a 5 time Jeopardy champ!

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  46. Heather said on February 25, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Jeff @41, spill some tea, please! Was it JK or AD? I wrote a few things for the Business of Life section years ago but that editor is no longer there.

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  47. Julie Robinson said on February 25, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Such good news for everyone getting their vaccines, though I still don’t understand why every state hasn’t centralized the registration the way Indiana has. I have to slap myself in the face when I compliment Indiana government, so I’ve been doing that a lot.

    Two pieces of sobering news for us this morning; a friend’s mother with Covid is going to be removed from life support later today, and the friend who was in the ICU had a stroke last night. He was already in an induced coma, with a breathing tube and complete kidney failure, and very small hope of recovery. The mom caught Covid from her son; can you imagine the guilt? It confirmed our decision to be at home as much as we could and take every other precaution when we left it.

    On a happier note, now that Mom is fully vaccinated she’s itching to get out, so we took her to the city’s indoor botanical gardens yesterday. It’s a true jewel and the visit lifted all our spirits. There were very few people there, and we all masked, so it felt quite safe.

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  48. FDChief said on February 25, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    You’d think that the GQP would look around and come to the conclusion that the way to get more people to vote for it would be to…(checks notes)…fight for things that more people like.

    Unfortunately, that would mean fighting for things that its wealthy/theocratic/Trumpersonality-cult “base” would hate. And given that the things are typically things that their political opponents are ALREADY fighting for, well…there’s no gain for them there.

    Nope. The GQP has given up trying to be a national party and is going to ride or die with Wingnut Nation.

    Which is why, as always, the GQP must be destroyed.

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  49. Bitter Scribe said on February 25, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    My suggested campaign slogan:

    “Trump 2024: Not Convicted Yet”

    (may require updating prior to election)

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  50. alex said on February 25, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Jeff B, I find the Atlantic article heartening.

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  51. ROGirl said on February 25, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    The New York DA has gotten Trump’s financial records.

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  52. LAMary said on February 25, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Bitter Scribe, that slogan works for me. It sort of reminds me of the slogan of the Magliazzi brothers, the old car guys on NPR. They used to mention a mechanic whose slogan was “Slow, but Expensive.”

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  53. FDChief said on February 25, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Perusing the Internet, I see that the enviable Driftglass got there well before I did, as you’d expect:

    “the reason the Right is riddled with “grifters and the people who are looking for the clicks and the contributions” is because manufacturing malleable chumps is what the entire Conservative enterprise has been all about all along — one very long, very well-funded project aimed at dumbing down and angrying up the Republican base enough so that they would consistently vote against their own interests and instead make common cause with the plutocrats who bankrolled the whole thing and the carnival barkers they hire to lure the rubes into the tent.”

    It really IS that simple. The GQP is what it’s been for forty years; useless to representative democracy as a tampon in a typhoon.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on February 25, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Heather,

    It was Jeff Bailey. AD was an assistant managing editor when I left after starting her career on the copy desk. Kirk joined long after I fled.

    Bailey was hired in the fall of 2003. I was pushed out in June 2004 after 15 years of labor. Bailey had worked for many years at the Wall Street Journal, so our group vice-president thought it was quite a coup to hire him for a family-owned regional business weekly. He spent a few months lying low, then went full bore asshole with a particular emphasis on me, since he had shepherded small business coverage at the WSJ and I was the small business editor. Nothing I did was ever correct. He made me fire all my local freelancers and use people he’d hired when at the Journal, which meant I had to line up all their sources, etc. for them since they were reporting Chicago stories from Maryland, Texas, California, etc. I worked seven days a week because he would pile shit upon shit through the week. And he was the biggest fucking liar I’ve ever worked with. Example: AD was working her ass off and complained to him. He promised her a hefty raise when the year ended. Instead, she got 1%. Why? He told her he was disappointed because he didn’t see her in the office on Sundays. (She was the mother of two small children at the time.) In one week, the chief copy editor, the second-longest serving reporter and I all resigned without jobs waiting. Together, we had more than 60 years of experience at CCB. It was that horrible.

    I’ve never forgiven him or the group v.p., who fired him 15 months after his hiring when he pissed her off, too. If I hear he’s gone toes up, I’ll drink some excellent Scotch. If that makes me a small person, so be it. I am happy to take responsibility when I fuck up, but I did nothing to deserve the treatment I received.

    Sorry to other members of NN.C for this inside baseball digression.

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  55. Heather said on February 25, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Ugh, Jeff. He sounds horrible. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. No one should have to work seven days a week forever, and using out-of-town reporters for a Chicago newspaper when there are so many great ones here is just beyond evil.

    That reminds me of a friend who said that all of the editors she knew in NYC said they wanted to hire more writers outside of the city but then would still always end up flying NY reporters out to cover stories here in flyover country.

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  56. Deborah said on February 25, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Love the phrase “toes up”, also “tits up”. There’s a funny short story by Annie Proulx called “Tits up in a Ditch”. Dorothy Parker used tits up memorably, or at least it’s attributed to her.

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  57. LAMary said on February 25, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Not a problem, Jeff. I could generate a very similar rant of wrath about a former employer. They went through four managers in 10 years. One of those managers was fired for running through two years of budget in six months, all for bullshit. He also never learned or attempted to learn anything about healthcare recruiting. “A nurse is a nurse,” was one of his brilliant statements. Ain’t so. You don’t want someone from orthopedics untrained in NICU caring for preemies. We old recruiters knew the certifications for all the specialties, for all the techs in respiratory, imaging, surgery. Same guy zeroed in on me and one other person in the department. We had two things in common: age and gender. The guys who were same age didn’t get the verbal beatings we did. I wish I had filed suit.

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  58. Dexter Friend said on February 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    I had shot#2 a week ago, and just was thinking about lab workers and shot-givers. When I “doctored” at the local medical center and the hospital across the street from there, I’d have blood drawn , regular intervals during check-ups, like we all do, and get a shot once in a while too. The hospital lab utilized students every time. One time, just having blood drawn for a test, I was stuck 7 times by a girl who appeared to be about 15, but she had to have been older, but totally incompetent. This happened every time, just not quite that bad an experience. Then, in late 2014, I switched to VA care. At the Toledo blood-draw lab, in all these years of blood draws, and with many different techs, never has a vein been missed, never a bruise left on my arm. I write this in praise of VA medical care in general, compared to small-town local care. There’s a lot more I could bore you with, but I recuse.

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  59. nancy said on February 25, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Deborah, my lord, that Annie Proulx story wasn’t a bit funny. At least not if it’s the one I remember. It’s about the dead-end kids from rural Montana who join the Army, right? I remember it was tragic and awful.

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  60. Deborah said on February 25, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Nancy, you’re so right about the main story being tragic but the ending is such a juxtaposition it’s startling and humorous. Or maybe it’s just me. We were traveling through Wyoming when I read the story, we went through the town where Proulx lived, just north of the CO border. It kind of surprised me how green and lush the town was compared to how bleak and depressing her stories were, like in her collection “Bad Dirt”. I remember being amused by the story about Tits up.

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  61. Suzanne said on February 25, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I just finished reading Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo, a 2019 Booker Prize winner. I had trouble getting into it as it’s written in a style that’s almost poetry. Once it pulled me in though, my goodness! What a amazing piece of literature!

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