Divide the crown.

I guess the trip came full circle at some point outside Dayton. Maybe some of you remember when the states of Ohio and North Carolina were beefing over which one had the true claim to calling itself the birthplace of aviation, some version of which is emblazoned on each state’s license plates. Ohio was home to the Wright brothers, and North Carolina was where they made their first flights. I believe they settled on splitting hairs; Ohio claimed “birthplace of aviation,” while North Carolina uses “First in Flight.” Both more or less accurate. (Wilbur Wright was born in Indiana, although the family moved to Ohio in his youth.)

And I drove through both.

My N.C. friends, both longtime Ohioans relocated to the Outer Banks, believe North Carolina should get the crown. Don’t tell that to Dayton, which has slapped the Wright name on everything, including the Air Force base there. As a daughter of Columbus, I don’t have a dog in the fight, having learned that my hometown’s namesake is now considered a Bad Man and there’s a good chance the Wright Brothers will be revealed as similar Bad Men and the circus will move on to what should replace both.

Elsewhere on the trip, I found another reason to despise Donald Trump when I was looking at the Obama portraits in Atlanta. Of course I wondered who would get the Trump presidential portrait commission, or if there would even be one. From the instructional panels at the exhibit, I gathered this is a bit of business reserved for the last part of the chief executive’s final term, and Trump thinks he was illegally robbed of one. So agreeing to sit for one would mean admitting his presidency was over. Although as vain as he is, it’s hard to believe he would skip it.

A quick Google reveals the truth as of a year ago: Trump “has already begun participating in the customary process so his official portrait can eventually hang alongside his predecessors, according to an aide and others familiar with the discussions.” Who will the lucky artist be? Please let it be Jon McNaughton, she prayed fervently; let the finished canvas include an eagle, a flag, another flag, a bomb, a cross, Jesus and the Deutschbank logo. And something gold. Gotta have some gold in there.

Now here we are, on the doorstep of March, Lent and spring now less than a month away. Even Ramadan is pretty close, and it’s always moving around the calendar.) A lovely day is in progress outside my window, and I should probably get out in it, now that I’ve cleaned my bathroom and otherwise caught up with stupid housework. Ukraine remains in crisis, but is showing a great deal of pluck in their resistance. Republicans, on the other hands, are twisting in the wind. It’s like watching someone try to jerk off Tucker Carlson with one hand and the entire staff of the National Review with the other. Entertaining, in a grim kinda way.

Posted at 12:34 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

37 responses to “Divide the crown.”

  1. Mark P said on February 27, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    Oh Jebus, my eyes! I hope someone manages to put some sand in the lube.

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  2. Julie Robinson said on February 27, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Illinois and Indiana are quite happy to fight about Lincoln, though he was born in Kentucky. I think Illinois wins that one.

    Having spent yesterday picking strawberries and swimming, I have just cleaned a bathroom here too, then hung my load of rags out on the line. Time to enjoy my slip of a Sunday newspaper.

    But first, a WaPo article about George P Bush (“the brown one”, as Gramps said famously at the convention way back when). George P is running in a four-person primary for Texas attorney general, against the corrupt incumbent, and has embraced all politics Trumpian. But there’s a little problem: the name Bush is now poison in Texas for being too centrist. Think about than one for a bit.

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  3. basset said on February 27, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Saw the first daffodils of the new year here in Nashville yesterday, and the river out back has returned to its banks, so spring does indeed seem to be near.

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  4. alex said on February 27, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Good 60 Minutes tonight. Wish I’d known the subject matter in advance and I’d have given it a shout out. One segment was on the rescue of Danny Fenster, whom Nancy has written about here before. Another was on the decline of local journalism and the vulture capitalists preying on local media.

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  5. Deborah said on February 27, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    We closed down the cabin in Abiquiu for the season, my husband leaves for his mother’s funeral in Sarasota on Tuesday, I stay on for a couple of weeks because of the window replacement project as I’ve said here before. This evening my husband moved some of the heavier furniture away form the windows, something which was making me lose sleep before I started taking anxiety meds. The rest is pretty doable, even though it’s going to be a pain to clean up and put back. If the window company postpones this I’m going to stroke out, we’ve been waiting for this for way too long.

    I remain glued to the internet with news of Ukraine, I’m still very inspired by the people of Ukraine. It feels like Putin is up against the wall and that scares me, as he hopes it scares everyone. Not looking forward to experiencing a nuclear winter obviously as is no one.

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  6. beb said on February 28, 2022 at 12:08 am

    “It’s like watching someone try to jerk off Tucker Carlson with one hand and the entire staff of the National Review with the other. Entertaining, in a grim kinda way. “ — Now I’ve got that image stuck in my mind! Thanks, Nancy!

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  7. Sherri said on February 28, 2022 at 12:20 am

    I read that after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, Urkarine completely revamped its army, including training civilian militias. Invading Urkraine this time, Russia is facing a much different force, and the civilian militias were issued arms and activated.

    A well-regulated militia, seems like I’ve read that somewhere.

    Putin is still very dangerous, but he’s undoing everything he accomplished in Europe over the last decade in a matter of days.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on February 28, 2022 at 3:59 am

    I like that idea of Trump’s pose , with all the bling and flags and shit.
    My brother was a photographer for several studios in Chicago and in Ohio. He did senior portraits for high schoolers. He told me some of the kids demanded to have a few hundred dollar bills hanging, visible, in their pocket where the handkerchief goes. Those kids meant business. This was a school on Cleveland’s east side. I know I never owned a benjamin until after I got a post-school job. Times change.

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  9. Jeff Gill said on February 28, 2022 at 6:59 am

    Julie, speaking as a native Hoosier — the thing is, Lincoln spent ages 7 to 21 in Indiana. It was formative, too, so I think it’s a two-fer.

    Ditto for the Wright Brothers. A very low key historic site just northeast of Dayton is Huffman Prairie, hard to find, worth the trip. Orville & Wilbur went to Kitty Hawk to get enough wind to test out their glider designs more thoroughly than they could in Ohio, and then ran the first test of their powered glider. As is well known, it was a hop: controlled, historic, the “first” flight under propulsion, no doubt.

    But having shown it could work and just starting to understand how to use the control surfaces effectively, they came back to Ohio. And in September 1904, after flying hops of up to a quarter mile (which was as far as they could go straight ahead without running into trees), Orville flew some turns and landed, then on Sept. 20th, took off and flew in a wide ellipse, landing where he took off. Technically, that’s the point at which you go from lab experiment to an actual technology, flying a circuit. Kitty Hawk was Franklin and the kite, but Huffman Prairie was Faraday and the electric motor. So again, I think both state’s claims work in parallel.

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  10. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 9:46 am

    I’ve lived in 7 states, Florida was the state that I lived my formative years in but I wasn’t influenced by it the most. 4 of those states are in the midwest Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. It turns out when I think about it, the state where I lived when I realized who I was and what I wanted in my life was when I lived in Missouri (St. Louis) where I lived from ages 29-52. The states where I’ve lived that are the most meaningful to me are Illinois (Chicago) and New Mexico (Santa Fe, Abiquiu). I lived in Texas for 7 years and hated every second of it. Of course Chicago and Santa Fe/Abiquiu were a conscious choice the other locations were by happenstance (college, jobs etc). So I’m not a believer in what age you were when you had your true formative experiences or what state you lived in at the time.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on February 28, 2022 at 10:34 am

    The great David McCullough wrote a terrific biography of the Wright Brothers, who were not only skilled engineers and designers but brave as hell. It’s quite an entertaining book. Recently, I read the City of Dayton had agreed to allow the demolition of the original Wright Brothers bicycle shop. Things change. . .

    On Ukraine, we’re seeing yet again how a determined group of fighters can take care of a much larger force with cleverness and knowledge of the terrain, just as we saw in Iraq with IEDs. Russian tanks are being picked off like ducks in a shooting gallery, throwing into question the future of these behemoths. Cheap Javelin missiles are blowing up the best the Russkies have to offer.

    NATO tanks and Warsaw Pact tanks were designed to square off on the plains of central Europe in massive battles. Now, like so much weaponry, they may well be obsolete.

    If Russia’s plans were unfolding smoothly, we wouldn’t be hearing of potential ceasefire talks and Putin wouldn’t be compensating by putting his nuclear forces on high alert. These are particularly fraught times. . .one miscalculation or mistake and it’s mushroom clouds all around.

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  12. Tom said on February 28, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I came in here to endorse the McCullough bio, so a hearty second to Jeff Borden’s post (and great insight from Jeff Gill!), but from Nancy’s assertion that there is a “good chance” their reputations will take a hit, I am wondering if McCullough wasn’t exactly thorough in his scrutiny and there is acknowledged dirt carpeted over?

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  13. nancy said on February 28, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    I was maybe being a little snarky there, Tom. It seems this is the way it always goes with revered white man of the past.

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  14. JodiP said on February 28, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Unrelated to anything posted, but the Amicus podcast has a great episode from Saturday about Judge Katanji Brown Jackson. In addition to being a thoughtful judge, she was also described as someone who supported her staff and led very well.

    The past 3 days of sunny weather with temps in the 20s and 40s have me eager for spring. Our dog is also so happy–his coat is too thin for long winter walks. Now the challenge is getting him to head home when it’s time for me to get to other things.

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  15. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    ARRGHHH. Of course our windows aren’t going to be installed tomorrow and who knows when they will be. It turns out the building permit application has not even been submitted to the city yet. After getting info from them that they were sure it would all be taken care of by the 1st. I changed my flight back to Chicago to be here after the install to move heavy furniture back and clean up because LB isn’t supposed to exert herself to do heavy labor after her hip ablation. I had to pay extra to change the flight. Now I’m probably going to have to fly back here just for the rescheduled install. In the back of my mind, I knew this was going to happen and there’s nothing I can do about it.

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  16. Dexter Friend said on February 28, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Sweden equipping Ukraine with military hardware was shocking, but when Switzerland (my DNA tracker base) weighs in with Ukrainian assistance, I was floored.
    I have one friend who is all for Putin in this aggressive takeover attempt. He says expanding NATO has forced Putin to invade Ukraine. He stands by the accusations that areas of Ukraine are run by neo-nazis. He does not have a TV but is getting all this from various websites, which I did not ask about.
    I find him to be way off-base here. And as I posted on social media, Zelensky is a shoo-in for Man of the Year, and his quote “I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition.” is up there with anything Churchill ever said.
    As a war veteran, these refugee scenes, these videos of civilian apartments being blown up get to me and flash me back to what I saw a little of in Vietnam, and it ain’t very fucking pleasant and breaks my heart.

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  17. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Yes Dexter, my husband a Vietnam vet says the same thing. My mind is still blown by right wingers taking the side of Russia, it’s all so cruel and heartless. I asked my rightwing sister if she was proPutin and thankfully she said, no way.

    Switzerland has even taken sides, Ukraine’s of course, they are sanctioning accounts which has got to hurt the Oligarchs bigly.

    They had lots of sunflowers for sale at Trader Joe’s today.

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  18. David C said on February 28, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Pat Robertson left his crypt to say Putin is being compelled by God to invade Ukraine to prepare for an end times invasion of Israel. So they can’t seem to decide if the Russians are fighting neo-nazis or the Jewish cabal.

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  19. MarkH said on February 28, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    Yesterday in History –

    Lest we forget, it was eight years ago yesterday (02/27/14) that Russia rallied quickly to invade the Crimean peninsula, after pro-European Ukraine citizens ousted the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. This, after Yanukovych vowed no alliance ever with EU or NATO. The people spoke, vehemently.


    Today in nn.c history: A rather lively discussion took place here on this very subject in ‘Meanwhile, back here…’.

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  20. Sherri said on February 28, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Even FIFA, that most corrupt of sports organizations, has been forced to ban Russia, though not without dragging its feet first. You might think that it’s just sports and doesn’t matter, but sports have always mattered to authoritarians like Putin. It’s part of their projection of strength.

    Someone pointed out that Putin always does shit like this right after an Olympics ends, so that there’s the maximum time before the next Olympics in hopes that it will be forgotten or ignored by the IOC and Russia won’t be banned. The IOC is the other most corrupt sports organization, having allowed Russian athletes to compete under the fig leaf of the Russian Olympic Committee despite a huge doping program, while IOC head Thomas Bach sat with Putin during the opening ceremonies in Beijing. This time, Putin forgot to wait until the Olympic Truce was over, the ten days post Olympics when Olympic countries are supposed to refrain from aggression. Will the IOC find a spine and ban Russian from the Paris Olympics?

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  21. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Slava Malamud, the Russian American I linked to a few days ago has written extensively how important sports are to Russia, as winning is everything to them, so cheating (doping) is OK as long as you win. The ends justify the means in other words, just like many Republicans believe about politics, they can lie and keep people from voting etc but that’s OK as long as they retain power.

    Chris Hayes said on Twitter “wouldn’t it be great if the world didn’t depend on the whims of petrostates” I had never heard the term petrostates but it’s a good one, think Saudi Arbia, Russia etc. We need to get free of fossil fuels as soon as possible and not just because of climate change.

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  22. LAMary said on February 28, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Maybe instead of a painted portrait of Trump they should just use that lovely gold statue that was created for CPAC last year. The one with the flip flops and the swim trunks? Trump’s face is gold? You know the one I mean.

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  23. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    It would be great if all the best portraitists refused to paint Trump’s official portrait.

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  24. susan said on February 28, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    This realistic Trump statue?

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  25. susan said on February 28, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Deborah @23— No problem. Jon McNaughton would be the Orange Skidmark’s offal portrait painter.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on February 28, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    There was a new sculpture made for this year’s CPAC, but it got held up in customs. This is the kind of information I get by reading the Orlando newspaper. Also lots of Disney news. The huge protest our daughter attended on Saturday against Don’t Say Gay? Not a word.

    BTW, she bought a clerical collar just for wearing to protests. She’s trying to represent the sane church

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  27. Deborah said on February 28, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Julie, I wonder where that Trump sculpture came from since it was held up in customs? China? Not in the US of A obviously.

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  28. Dave said on March 1, 2022 at 1:40 am

    Julie, you’re in Florida now, not a lot of sanity running things there. If you want to read anything at all other than Disney news and the like, you could try the digital Tampa Bay Times.

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  29. Dexter Friend said on March 1, 2022 at 2:06 am

    The money in Premier League ownership is out of this world mind-blowing. The oligarch who owns Chelsea FC has turned over stewardship of his club to the club’s charitable foundation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2022/02/26/roman-abramovich-chelsea-owner/

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  30. Deborah said on March 1, 2022 at 6:02 am

    It’s 4am in Santa Fe now and I just read this terrifying interview with Fiona Hill about Putin https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/02/28/world-war-iii-already-there-00012340 so much for anxiety meds.

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  31. FDChief said on March 1, 2022 at 6:46 am

    Sadly, the time an independent Ukraine has left is short. The Russian Army has proved as inept as most military observers suspected, but the weight of metal is overwhelming. What might come then, though, might be even more horrific; the Ukrainians fought a vicious guerrilla campaign against the Soviets through the late Forties into the early Fifties, with all the usual murder-countermurder-disappearances-massacres those sorts of fights entail. Putin may not recall, but I’ll bet his army and internal security people do.

    And as for our domestic Comintern, the GQP? How on Earth do they suffer for this? Margie Greene is shouting to the fascists of AFPAC to Republican applause, the lies and nonsense spew forth from FAUX and Trump and all the little mini-Trumps like a mighty river of bullshit and…they’re still the lust-objects of 40% of the U.S. public.

    We have our own little Putin problem right here. We just try and pretend we don’t, so we don’t have to accept that about two-fifths of the supposed American people aren’t fit for life in a democratic republic and should be, instead, chained up like rabid dogs.

    Because if we don’t it’s only a matter of time before we have to decide when the Trumpkins show up at our door whether we want a ride, or ammunition.

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  32. LAMary said on March 1, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Last year’s “trump as a golden calf” statue was made in Mexico. Maybe they liked that work so much they went back to the same artist.

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  33. Mark P said on March 1, 2022 at 9:05 am

    I’m surprised no one has suggested the naked emperor statue of Trump. It’s anatomically correct, down to his very tiny hands. You might even call them microhands.

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  34. Jenine said on March 1, 2022 at 10:12 am

    @Julie R. I love that your daughter is donning the collar for protest visibility.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on March 1, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Jenine, the response is usually surprise followed by hugs.

    A lot of what’s in the Orlando paper comes from Tampa and Miami, and those are usually the good articles. It’s funny; they have a kickass political reporter who doesn’t pull any punches, but also run horrible right wing editorials and cartoons. People like Ross Douthat, etc. But it helps us learn about our new community, so we’ll continue to subscribe.

    I fear FD Chief is prophetic about Ukraine. All the jaunty flags and talk of women fighting with their bare hands won’t last long when Putin doubles down. Seeing the men say farewell to their families breaks my heart, knowing how many of them are doomed.

    At least the Russian skaters have been banned from Worlds later this month. Take that, sparkly pre-pubescent girls!

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  36. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    I read a story quoting a Ukrainian who witnessed Russian soldiers taking food, liquor and cigarettes from a store. He said the soldiers looked very young, very tired and very hungry, which fits the narrative of how poorly logistics have been handled by the so-called superpower. But as FDChief notes, the sheer size of the invasion force is going to overwhelm Ukraine regardless of the bravery of its people.

    What a contrast, eh? We’ve had thousands of moron ‘Muricans marching for “freedom” because of a fucking face mask. They despoil the word with their infantile selfishness. Ukrainians personify it.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on March 1, 2022 at 12:29 pm


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