Fishsticks the Svengali.

I don’t know why I subscribe to Axios. All that smart-brevity stuff is mainly just a news roundup at the beginning and end of the day. Skimmable = skippable, but we don’t have to keep up with everything, do we?

But start a news item this way…

Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson are joining forces…

…and OK, you have my attention. Apparently Tucker is starting a version of his show on Twitter? Fantastic idea. Take Tuck’s elderly, white, terrified viewers and try to explain Twitter to them — that’ll go well. But he’s certainly playing his Svengali role to the hilt, I’d say:

“At the most basic level, the news you consume is a lie — a lie of the stealthiest and most insidious kind,” Carlson said in a video announcing he plans to relaunch his show on Twitter. “Facts have been withheld on purpose along with proportion and perspective. You are being manipulated.”

Hello, pot? This is the kettle. You’re black.

The rest of the story is a little scare-mongering itself, but I’m not going to express confidence that truth will prevail when I can’t open a social-media app without seeing AI bullshit clogging it up, followed by credulous comments.

That said, there is also some excellent AI work going on, and you should follow this guy, who does a lot of it:

Obama looks like he maybe played bass in Sly Stone’s backup band.

The E. Jean Carroll verdict is in, and it’s a good one, if for no other reason than it sets him up for a lifetime of small-dick jokes. She’ll likely never see a dime of her award, but who cares. With a case like this, the headlines and vindication are the settlement. The pussy-grabber finally got his hand slapped. It ain’t prison time, but it’s good enough.

Finally, you may have seen this already, the FBI’s instructional video on how to survive a mass shooting. When “thoughts and prayers” don’t work, and yelling “mental health” does nothing, it’ll be, “you should have watched the video. Then you might not have been shot.”

This stupid country.

Happy Wednesday, all. I got a deadline, and have to go hard today.

Posted at 11:09 am in Current events, Media |

71 responses to “Fishsticks the Svengali.”

  1. David C said on May 10, 2023 at 11:38 am

    I don’t know. I think she’ll be able to collect. I want it to go down by Carroll’s lawyers going down the list of things Trump undervalued for tax reasons at five million. Grab the New York County Sheriff and glom it. Then let him whine that it’s worth however much more and let New York do him for tax fraud.

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  2. Dorothy said on May 10, 2023 at 11:46 am

    E. Jean Carroll and Roberta Kaplan were on TODAY this morning and attorney Kaplan said “oh I promise you that we will collect those damages from the former president”. The rapidity with which she stated this just underscored to me her supreme badass status. She didn’t blink, she just stated what she meant and I hope they get the money sooner rather than later. But of course it’s going to be tied up with an appeal for a little while. It’s a very satisfying decision and I look forward to more like it in the future.

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  3. Peter said on May 10, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Oh my gosh that Gerald Ford mullet – that looks 100% like a West Michigan furniture company sales rep +/- 1980-2005

    Lyndon Johnson’s is better – he really did look like that months before he died…

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  4. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2023 at 11:52 am

    And with the Santos indictments, is it possible things are finally beginning to tilt in the right direction?

    Of course, Indiana just pulled public funding from the Kinsey Institute and Florida removed union dues from teacher paychecks, so there’s that.

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  5. Deborah said on May 10, 2023 at 11:58 am

    I saw a clip of the Morning Joe E. Jean Carroll interview, I was happy to hear her lawyer’s (she was on too)rebuttal to the claim that it was a NYC jury. Only 2 of the jurors out of 9 were from the city, most of them were from the more northern areas like Westchester etc.

    I think the Republican legislators are shitting their pants but they’re not about to show it, they’re trying to be smirky and tough and they’re coming off as assholes.

    That trial was so interesting to me, I found it riveting, the lead up to it, the courtroom drama, and now the aftermath, the whole thing was and still is fascinating to me. Will she get paid? I have no idea, and I don’t really care, do you (quoting someone’s jacket)?. Damage has been done to him, the liable loser.

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  6. susan said on May 10, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Regarding E. Jean Carroll’s attorney, I saw this comment on a lawyering site:

    “E.J. Carroll’s lead attorney, Roberta Kaplan, is the lawyer who took the Edie Windsor estate tax case to the Supreme Court and won, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and laying the legal groundwork for Obergefell. IOW, no slouch.”

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  7. Brandon said on May 10, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    Musk has made Don Lemon an offer as well.

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  8. Sherri said on May 10, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Roberta Kaplan also won a $26 million verdict against the Unite the Right rally leaders in Charlottesville. She’s a badass.

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  9. Sherri said on May 10, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Kaplan is also the subject of chapter 4 of Dahlia Lithwick’s latest book, Lady Justice: Women,
    The Law, And The Battle To Save America.

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  10. Sherri said on May 10, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Here’s someone who’s not a badass: Amy Chozick. She’s a reporter for the NYTimes, and almost by definition, the NYTimes prefers not to hire badasses these days. She just wrote a ridiculously credulous puff piece on Liz no longer Elizabeth Holmes. The whole piece is a disaster.

    Chosick has already demonstrated that she’s incapable of discerning propaganda from reality. She was the Clinton beat reporter during the 2016 election, responsible for bringing us the garbage from both the Clinton Cash book and the Wikileaks dumps. In a sane world, where the NYTimes recognized how badly they had been used and how poorly they had done their job during that election, she wouldn’t still be there, but she is, writing a piece and including that even her editor is telling her that she’s being played. Why?

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  11. Jason T. said on May 10, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Things I would rather do, instead of watching “The Tucker Carlson Show” on Twitter:

    Clean all of the bathrooms in a Greyhound bus station. With my bare hands
    Chew a ball of aluminum foil
    Stop a running lawn mower using my tongue
    Attend a meeting of the Pauly Shore fan club

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  12. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2023 at 3:12 pm

    Definitely a puff piece, taking place in Elizabeth Holmes’ own house over multiple days. It still exposed her as manipulative and willing to say or do anything to get what she wants. But yes, you could feel the admiration.

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  13. Heather said on May 10, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    I didn’t think the Holmes article was a puff piece. I thought the reporter did a good job of depicting how easy it was to get sucked into her orbit precisely because she comes across as so authentic. Jill Filipovic wrote about this in her newsletter and she put it like this:

    “The reporter who wrote the piece, Amy Chozick, suggests a few things: That this version of Elizabeth Holmes feels authentic, relatable, and sympathetic; that Elizabeth Holmes does not actually believe she did anything wrong and is in fact a dogged optimist convinced of her own potential for greatness; and that both Elizabeth Holmes and her partner Billy Evans know that she is charismatic, persuasive, and highly effective at convincing other people to believe that she is authentic, relatable, and sympathetic (or whatever it is she wants to be).”

    In other words, a sociopath.

    Filipovic makes other good points, including that you can be a victim and a villain at the same time.

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  14. Deborah said on May 10, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    I read the “Liz” Holmes puff piece too and I was appalled. Why would the reporter write that, and why did the NYT print (and digitize) it? Honestly, I don’t get it. Holmes hurt a lot of people irreparably. She deserves to spend every minute of her prison sentence.

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  15. David C said on May 10, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    She wrote it because that’s what the publisher wants. Same as with the transphobic stuff they’ve been doing lately.

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  16. Sherri said on May 10, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    There were many howlers in the Holmes piece (like the ER story, which was obviously totally made up), but the thing that really made me want to pull me hair out was the part where she says she thinks if she spent more time on “her inventions” and less time on promoting the company, they would have revolutionized health-care, and that she’s still convinced she can do that, even behind bars.

    This was a 19 year old college dropout with an idea that hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do lab tests with a drop of blood? Sure, it’s a cool idea. And yes, it would revolutionize health care. But that doesn’t make it possible, and her little box was a total fraud.

    Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could print out little adhesive strips for our medications and not have to take pills and reduce gastrointestinal side-effects? That would revolutionize healthcare! I should start a company to build a medication printer for pharmacies! Want to invest? What’s that you say? Many medications can’t be delivered transdermally? Oh, my magic printer will solve that with software!

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  17. tajalli said on May 10, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    Sherri, that’s transdermal drug delivery, a real thing, I worked with a professor who is rather prominent in the field.

    I thought Clinton was the one who needed an earring and the AI missed the boat with Obama’s non-afro – way too straight.

    The pinky wiggle will surely become this week’s laughable meme, so wonderful to witness the birth of a good running joke in these horrid times. To the tune of the Hokie Pokie – “You put your pinkie in, you put your pinkie out, you put your pinkie in and shake it all about, you do the Pinkie Wiggle and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!”

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  18. BigHank53 said on May 10, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    Actually…if Trump appeals the verdict in the Carroll trial, he has to post a bond for the settlement. He gets it back—with interest—if he wins the appeal. If he loses, it goes straight to Carroll. So that’s a bit of a gamble on his part, but I very much doubt his ego will allow him to shut up and pay out.

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  19. Sherri said on May 10, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Taj all I, I’m aware of transdermal drug delivery. I also know that only some medications can pass through the skin, others can’t permeate the skin, for various reasons, like the molecules being too big. And even if they could, a printer that could just print an adhesive strip in a retail pharmacy is a fantastical concept, but if I were a blond turtleneck wearing 19 year old who could make rich old men feel smart and young, I could probably get funding.

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  20. Deborah said on May 10, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    I didn’t watch it and in fact completely forgot it was going to be on tonight but apparently the CNN Trump town hall was a complete shit show. Who expected it to be anything but? I hope he turned off a whole lot more women because of it. What in the hell was CNN thinking?

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  21. Dexter Friend said on May 11, 2023 at 3:21 am

    With so many Tommy Tubervilles out there, Trump will likely pass the hat and collect the $5M easily to pay Carroll. Tuberville is going to vote twice for Trump if he can get away with it…he has allies who also think it’s a witch hunt and they despise any New York jury’s jurors. I avoided the CNN Town Hall with extreme prejudice. I watched “Joyride” with Olivia Colman. A most excellent movie.

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  22. Jim said on May 11, 2023 at 6:22 am

    As long as the body is cleaned up, the GOPerverts will quite happily say a prayer over it (then repair to the pub) .

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  23. FDChief said on May 11, 2023 at 7:56 am

    The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Tubby is a pretty good indication of why it’s not going to matter whether Fishsticks pops up on Twitter, 4chan, or a park bench.

    It’s not him.

    It’s them.

    Seventy-odd million of these mouthbreathing C.H.U.D.s who want their God, guns, and racism straight in the vein.

    Tubby is a con man. A liar. A grifter. A tax cheat. A sex pest (at least, if not worse). A tool of foreign powers (at least, if not an actual traitor). A failed dictator.

    They. Don’t. Care.

    They love him because he promises to give them their drug. Uncut. At hardcore junkie level.

    A Trump? Fishsticks?

    Pfff. It can die. Or be killed. Or fuck up and find out. Or be turned or blackmailed into insignificance.

    But that horde of cosplay Hitler Youth out there? Ready to burn down the nation rather than suffer a drag queen, feminist, or soyboy to live?

    Makes you nostalgic for Caligula, who wished all his enemies had one neck so he could solve his problems with one stroke.

    So, no. No matter where ol’ Tuck lands? The prion disease he’s a symptom of will rage on.

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  24. Deborah said on May 11, 2023 at 9:54 am

    If I’m already this crabby now, how will I make it to November 2024? I’m so sick of deplorables being deplorable. I wish I could think there was a glimmer of hope that way deep inside there was the possibility of a good person there, like I used to imagine, that they were just duped and that if they got the right information they’d shape up. It’s so obviously way beyond that and extremely depressing to know now that there are millions of them. I wish someone could prove that I’m wrong about them, I hate feeling this way.

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  25. Jeff Gill said on May 11, 2023 at 10:13 am

    I’m not so pessimistic, but it’s not for great reasons. Most of this I see around me looks like many of the crowd shots at the CNN Trump Rally: older white folks, who are better off than most but acutely aware they’re not at the top of the heap, who were fine with ethnic minorities when they were houseboys and cooks and sidekicks, maybe the occasional nurse, but as not only people of color but lifestyle minorities became more visible and more in charge, they’re freaking out. They loved Liberace and Rip Taylor, Hop Sing and Rochester, Julia and I Spy, but they got increasingly nervous as The Birdcage and RuPaul and Barack Obama entered the mainstream. They had always been rudely dismissive of Martin Luther King, tolerated Colin Powell, and now post vulgarities about Kamala Harris on their cars and on banners over their garage doors.

    What they joke nervously about is Joe’s obvious aging and hesitancy . . . because they’re feeling it themselves. They live off the sugar buzz of Fox News anxiety mongering for the same reason they put increasing amounts of seasoning on their food, because it’s harder to feel your own reactions, taste anything at all the way you used to.

    I’m optimistic because it is so much a coalition of the decrepit, and those middle aged who know full well they will age fast when they hit the knee of the curve. And even for some of the most bigoted and casually racist, they turn on a dime when their biracial grandchild is put in their lap; for the most militantly heteronormative and phobic, once a grandkid comes out to them, for every sad story of rejection I think there’s four or five of “oh, yeah, I kinda knew; well, if you’re sure, come here and give me a hug.”

    Like its leader, the Trump movement actuarily has no future. It has some staying power, but it will consistently move more slowly, soon needing Belize or some undocumented equivalent aide to take their arm as they shuffle their way to the bedside commode. Whom they will thank, without any sense of irony at all.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on May 11, 2023 at 11:46 am

    What tRump has exposed is the absolute depravity of the right. ‘Murican conservatives have no governing principles. What they have is hate in all its dark splendor. If they regain power, it will unleash a reign of terror.

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  27. annie said on May 11, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Bravo Jeff Gill at 10:13. A perfect summation & so well written!

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  28. Randy said on May 11, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    The FBI video reflects the current strategy on many Canadian post-secondary campuses. Given the vastness of a campus could be your friend, while being in the wrong place/wrong time is your certainly your enemy, students are being instructed to go with their instincts in the moment. That last line: “don’t fight fair, you’re fighting for your life” or words to that effect, really hits home for the times we live in.

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  29. FDChief said on May 11, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    The whole “demographics is destiny” trope has been the last refuge of pollyannas since Gingrich summoned the Birchers from the GOP hinterland. As the nation became browner, churchless, younger the nazis would grow weaker.

    It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now.

    Ask a Menshivik or a Spartakist how much of the overall population the radicals need to take control. Or, how once that boot is on your neck, how easy it is that demographics will lift it.

    The GOP is loathsome but not stupid. Why do you think they work so hard to suppress the “wrong” people voting? In a nation where the original plan was “wealthy whiteguys only” how hard is it to make that work?

    So no. If all else remains the demographics will simply mean the MAGAts lean harder to dictatorship to ensure they’re in control. Once there..?

    How long and bloody was the road from 1917 to 1989, or 1933 to 1946?

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  30. Sherri said on May 11, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Demographics is not destiny. Never has been, never will be. The idea that if we’re just patient, the next generation will win out seems unlikely. Yes, the Fox News crowd is old, but the Joe Rogan crowd isn’t.

    The CNN head is defending staging a Trump rally on his network and calling it news, saying the mistake the media made in the past is ignoring that the people in that crowd exist. Well, if that’s the standard, I’ve got some groups of people the media has always ignored; maybe he should have TV shows with them? We could have a panel of undocumented people, explaining why they risk their lives to come here; people working in warehouses, on how all your shit gets to you; formerly incarcerated people, on how difficult it is to find housing and a job; homeless people, on what brought them to state; minimum wage workers, on how they never know what their hours are going to be more than a day or so in advance; health care workers, on pandemic burnout…

    I’ve got a long list that doesn’t involve the resentments of MAGA, but instead points the finger to the lack of a safety net and our billionaire class leaching off us. Way too radical, though.

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  31. Mark P said on May 11, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    The problem was not that CNN and the rest of the MSM ignored the fact that those people exist, the problem was and is that they are ignoring the existential danger those people and their leaders represent. CNN just wants those Fox viewers. So what if their goal is to burn it all down.

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  32. Sherri said on May 11, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    The Rapture could happen tomorrow, taking away all the Trump-loving evangelicals and their fellow travelers, and we still won’t automatically become a pluralistic multiracial democracy without continuing to work toward it. Believe me, I watch people who think of themselves as very liberal become as reactionary as any right winger when push comes to shove about actually sharing power. They’re fine with it, as long as nothing really changes. But the minute the things that are important to them aren’t front and center, they raise holy hell. Sure, sure, they’re fine with that, but not if it takes away from what they want.

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  33. alex said on May 11, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    The Democrats turned out for Biden — Biden!!! — who most of them didn’t like and still don’t, but they knew what was at stake and they voted accordingly. Likewise in 2022 when they retained the Senate and only narrowly lost the House — when they were supposed to get shellacked — they showed the Republicans that Republican politics aren’t popular with the majority of people in this country.

    Call me a Pollyanna, but I think Trump has done a better job of energizing the Democrats than the Democrats ever did and it’s about fucking time.

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  34. Deborah said on May 11, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    I read that E Jean Carroll and her lawyer are contemplating suing Trump again for continuing to defame her last night during the town hall. Unfortunately he’ll just keep doing it over and over and over, just like he did the sexual assaults to women over and over and over. He won’t stop. I wonder if they can sue CNN too for allowing Trump to say it, giving him a platform and not turning off his microphone during his spiel? Robbie Kaplan could probably pull that off along with taking Trump down again.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on May 12, 2023 at 3:46 am

    It surely didn’t take me long to see which the wind blows: CNN now is under Warner Bros Discovery. Corporate Leadership David Zaslav, President and CEO. Enter John Malone.

    I switched to MSNBC as my go-to as soon as it started; now I will never watch CNN. It appears these power-seekers and billionaire right-wingers are going to turn CNN upside down and I mean quickly.

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  36. Dorothy said on May 12, 2023 at 6:53 am

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if E. Jean did sue again? I sincerely doubt they (Ms. Carroll and her lawyers) will, but the repetition would be great, and maybe this time they’d include CNN in the suit for giving him the platform the day after their recent court decision in their favor.

    Jeff Gill @25 made excellent points. I’ve been thinking about new neighbors who I met about a year ago in this new subdivision. This couple moved from the northern border of Ohio down here to Columbus. They have one son, one granddaughter. The wife was very chatty when we met while walking our dogs, and picking up the mail. She was happy to be closer to their son and granddaughter, but complained bitterly about all she gave up to move here. They had acreage, and she had life long friends she had to say goodbye to, her husband packed up his plaques and awards for something yet she threw hers away. She seemed to be really struggling with the move.

    And at one point she said something about the people in the house that is fairly far behind her. It’s a young family with two small children. You’d not be able to carry on a conversation with the residents unless you walked all the way to the property lines – there is the beginning of a wetlands pond just behind them, too. And the family is, I think, what you might call ‘Indian’ – perhaps Pakistani, perhaps from India. She said “And I see we have ‘them’ here! I had no idea they’d be able to live here!” I believe I said something like “I’m not sure what you mean …. “ and she changed the topic immediately.

    Some people are better than others at hiding these kinds of opinions and biases. I think I’m pretty good at spotting them. I don’t hide my opinions. I’m about as vocal as one can be to the point of maybe being obnoxious. I do think they are in the minority but I’m probably wrong.

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  37. ROGirl said on May 12, 2023 at 7:54 am

    Dorothy, it astonished me what people will say because they think you’re automatically on their side, and/or they just start parroting right wing propaganda. I was talking with a production floor guy at work who said he didn’t pay attention to the news, but he knows the name George Soros is and that he’s a force for bad things that go on in the world. When I told him Soros is a Jewish philanthropist and the criticism of him is an organized campaign of anti-semitism, he didn’t know anything about that.

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  38. Jeff Gill said on May 12, 2023 at 9:06 am

    Sherri, I entirely agree with you that becoming a pluralistic multiracial democracy will take ongoing, sustained work. I also think quite a few working class white Midwesterners can get on board with that model. Ethnic purity exclusivism has some lizard brain attraction that means the struggle will be ongoing.

    But I also think while horrifying the CNN Town Hall was necessary and defensible, even if it shouldn’t be repeated. Trump got cheers in that room of NH Republicans & unaligned Trump voters, but I don’t think a majority of the 3 million viewers were encouraged or pulled closer to his orbit. It was bracing to hear that this is what we have coming at us, and there’s no other format that would have done it as quickly or as well. He’s very likely to be the nominee, and that’s the threat. And probably because I’ve been watching slow decline for three years now up close and all too personal, I worry like heck about putting Joe Biden up against him. If I were betting on a pool for who will have an incapacitating stroke first, I’d go Trump, but if the “bet” is which of them is more likely to have a major medical crisis of any sort, even a recoverable one, in the next two years, my money would go onto the Biden side of the table. I have no problem with voting for him a second time, personally, I just don’t like the looks of things down that road.

    Having said that, I was obscurely cheered by Trump’s walk out of the wings Wednesday night. It might just be his off-the-rack suit’s rumpled shoulders and no staff willing to walk up to him and yank it down before the entrance backstage, but he looked hunched, stooped, lessened, markedly aged himself.

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  39. Suzanne said on May 12, 2023 at 9:52 am

    ROgirl, I had a very similar conversation with my right wing brother about Soros. Brother was spouting the usual garbage when I mentioned that the right goes after Soros because he’s Jewish and that it’s all tied up with a it-Semitism. My brother had no idea.

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  40. Deborah said on May 12, 2023 at 10:17 am

    I read a substack by Brian Klaas he has a good piece up now about how many people are misinformed not uninformed and they’re never uncertain

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  41. jcburns said on May 12, 2023 at 10:34 am

    Jeff, this whole calculation of “which of them is more likely to have a major medical crisis of any sort” is, excuse me, garbage on so many levels.

    First of all, none of us are doctors.

    Second, even if we were, we wouldn’t have access to high-quality medical records of any of those guys.

    Third, we’re talking good vs. evil here. Trump, I’m here to report, is evil. EEEEVVVVIL. Fortunately, Joe Biden is good. Very good.

    The world needs us to make that determination. It’s easy to make.

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  42. alex said on May 12, 2023 at 11:21 am

    Turns out that audience members for the CNN Trump rally town hall were told that cheering and applauding would be permitted but that there was to be no booing. Audience members speaking out have said that there were in fact quite a number of disgusted and upset members in the audience and that Trump was losing people when he droned on and on with his stolen election bullshit.

    CNN may have just cut its own throat. The Fox audience isn’t going to accept it as a “conservative” outlet and its regular viewers are likely to drop it because it’s trying to morph into a clone of Fox.

    (I read the story in Mediaite being quoted here but it’s paywalled)

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  43. alex said on May 12, 2023 at 11:25 am

    Here’s more:

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  44. LAMary said on May 12, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I have a brother who will vote for Trump again if it turns out Trump’s the candidate. None of the things Trump’s done in his last term in office or in his lifetime seem to matter. In any discussion of politics this brother will shift to asking why the Democrat mayor of NYC won’t get the coywolves in Central Park exterminated and why did Democrat city NYC legalize public urination. I think I’ve heard those same topics brought up by MTG and Lauren Boebert. My brother always votes.

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  45. FDChief said on May 12, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    I won’t link to it because the site rejects any comment I include a link with, but it’s worth quoting Charlie Pierce at length on the “Town Hall” shitshow:

    “It’s taken several decades to develop a political base that would deny evolution, boo a combat soldier, and cheer on a violent insurrection against the legitimate government. All El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago did was correctly assess how vast and useful the ignorance and rage conservatism had created within the Republican base really was. He was more than a successful candidate. He was an inevitable product of ideological corruption, the terminal symptom of the prion disease that conservatism invited in. That is the proper target for Wednesday night’s disgust. That is the truly insurrectionist act.

    So, again…he’s just the chancre, they’re the syphilis.

    As the saying used to be (back in the bad old days when the disease was treated with metallic poison, we spent a night with Venus in 2016, now it looks like we’re going to spend a lifetime with Mercury.

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  46. Sherri said on May 12, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    What’s defensible about platforming someone you know will lie repeatedly in front of an audience who will cheer every lie? Who will not only lie, but lie about the most important thing in our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power? As a warning? That trick never works.

    I’m reminded of something Michael Lewis said of his first book, Liars Poker, that he wrote it as a cautionary tale, but too many people read it as a how to.

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  47. FDChief said on May 12, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    Re: the “will no embolism rid me of this meddlesome Trump?!”, IIRC the Trumps tend to hang around a long time. Slumlord-Daddy Fred lived 94 vile years.


    There’s no easy way out of Tubby. Not demographics. Not death. Not “compromise” or “debate”. It’s his deplorables all the way down, forever, and with them it’s either rule or ruin.

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  48. Mark P said on May 12, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    Of Trump’s four siblings, his two sisters are still alive, but the two brothers are dead. One died at 42 from a heart attack, and the other at 71. I didn’t see his cause of death, but he had apparently been suffering brain bleeds as a result of a fall. So there is some hope.

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  49. David C said on May 12, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    I don’t know if it’s any different for white women but people will tell me, a mid-60s white guy, things that will curl your toes. I never know what to say. I want to say “Don’t be such a (racist, sexist, asshole)” but people are crazy nowadays. I’m going to try Dorothy’s “I’m not sure what you mean”. It’s like saying “Don’t be such a…” with plausible deniability.

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  50. Deborah said on May 12, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    I use this one after a friend who said “Why ever do you ask?” when someone would ask a bordering on rude question, which always stopped it cold, now I’m going to remember “I’m not sure what you mean?” when someone says something bordering on racist or sexist.

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  51. LAMary said on May 12, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    About ten years ago I found a plumber who showed up on time, did a good job and didn’t overcharge. Great guy. I had a neighbor ask me if I knew a good plumber so I gave him the phone number of my guy. He showed up on time and my neighbor sent him away. I asked my neighbor why he turned him away and he said, “you didn’t tell me he was a chocolate drop.” The plumber was a young African American guy.

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  52. susan said on May 12, 2023 at 6:43 pm

    LAMary— I’m surprised your neighbor didn’t use the n-word, although that’s probably what he had on the tip of his tongue.

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  53. jcburns said on May 12, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    But really! It’s not about health, it’s about being evil.

    And Donald Trump is evil. Joe Biden is not.


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  54. Diane said on May 13, 2023 at 10:15 am

    What jc said!

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  55. Jeff Borden said on May 13, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Just spent a few days in southwestern Ohio, where I read about the QOP efforts to require any suggested amendments would need 60% of the vote instead of a simple majority. And they’ve scheduled the vote on this anti-democratic measure for August, clearly with the idea turnout will be small and this piece of garbage might pass. It’s likely aimed at preventing Ohio voters from enshrining reproductive rights including abortion. The QOP is learning from its embarrassments in super red states such as Kansas and South Carolina, namely, that the people shouldn’t have a say in their own reproductive health. It should be up to the politicians to make that policy. Generally, conservative male christian pols. My birth state has gone mad. I’m so glad I left a long time ago.

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  56. Sherri said on May 13, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Lest we forget, Donald Trump is the man who took out a full page ad calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, a group of teenage boys who, in fact, were eventually exonerated of the crime for which they were convicted. After their exoneration, Donald Trump held fast to his earlier stance.

    Evil is an appropriate description. Hope that one night bump of a few million viewers was worth it, Chris Licht. As Fox News learned, you have to keep feeding evil for them to show up regularly.

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  57. Jeff Borden said on May 13, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    Yet another “unintended consequence” of a “good guy with a gun” killing the young mother of three. Asshole fired multiple shots at someone in an apartment parking lot rifling cars. Anything in your car worth killing someone? Certainly not in mine.

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  58. susan said on May 13, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Texas. Of course.

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  59. David C said on May 13, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    I hate the “stray bullet” line. Like it was a confused bullet whose phone battery died so it didn’t have GPS or something.

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  60. Jeff Gill said on May 13, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    JC, you are backed up by John Scalzi, who said in an aside about Feinstein & the hazards of gerontocracy:

    (NB: I’ll still vote for Biden; Trump is nearly as old and a fucking fascist, and anyone else the GOP would field will be no less fascist than he, and I prefer “Old and not fascist,” thank you kindly)

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  61. Sherri said on May 13, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    I don’t like that have a gerontocracy. I think it’s a problem that the average age of a US Senator is 65, and I’ve been complaining about DiFi for years. I look at the Judiciary Committee and see how many of them were on that committee during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings, and I get mad. Biden was never my first choice for nominee.

    But replacing a sitting President as nominee hasn’t worked well in the past, and worry about the possibility of a potential health problem for Biden isn’t worth the risk of a Trump presidency. Or any other candidate capable of winning the GOP nomination. Maybe if there were an obvious dynamic young candidate waiting in the wings, but I don’t think Harris is that.

    I’m more worried about Joe Manchin going the No Labels route and playing spoiler than about Joe Biden’s health. Or Sinema, but I think everybody hates Sinema.

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  62. Jeff Gill said on May 13, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    65? It’s that young?

    The times are not good for my language.

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  63. LAMary said on May 14, 2023 at 1:31 am

    Grassley looks and sounds like he’s in his 90s. Feinstein definitely should step aside. She should have left a few years ago.

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  64. Dexter Friend said on May 14, 2023 at 4:14 am

    Wow…I just watched a YouTube by Peter Santenello in which he tours “The Villages” (Central Florida) with a 57 year old woman resident. She laughed off the old STD-ridden sex orgy concept of the place and explained what it is, golf cars (not carts there) buzzing every which way. The Truman Show is real. 147,000 people living out their days amidst peers of age.
    But read this: a Jesus freak middle aged lady who was singing hymns loudly in Dollar General here sort of dogged me around the store and at checkout insisted on paying my bill…I had never seen her before and I told her no…she screamed “God told me you are a good man and I must pay your bill!” I shit you not. She ended up paying cash for $74 of my $114 bill. I just got the hell out of there fast…it was just too weird. Damn.

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  65. ROGirl said on May 14, 2023 at 6:44 am

    An older gentleman in a motorized grocery cart was going up and down the aisles in Krogers yesterday saying, “Happy Mother’s Day, God bless you,” as he passed by.

    Very weird stuff, indeed.

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  66. Deborah said on May 14, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    A story for mother’s day: Yesterday we had lunch with a friend who happens to be a colorectal surgeon, she lives near us and we met her through our neighbor across the hall who knows her through design not because he needs her services, thank goodness. Anyhoo, shortly after we met her I asked her how she happened to pick that particular area of expertise. She told me it was because she had been doing research in school about mothers who after giving birth had all kinds of issues with the pelvic floor. Something you don’t hear much about in general because of privacy and well the ick factor. You always hear about the wonders of motherhood and how having babies is as easy as pie. I for one can’t jump rope or jump on a trampolean ever again in my life, heck even sneezing can be problematic. Am I right, mothers out there? Pregnancy has dangers and we’re learning more about them since Dobbs.

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  67. LAMary said on May 14, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Ditto, Deborah.

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  68. basset said on May 14, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Any Flickr power users here? been trying to share albums but some of my recipients are only seeing videos and not still pics.

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  69. basset said on May 14, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    Continuing to scattershot unrelated topics… was just looking at today in history comments and ran into a discussion of service dogs and dog friendly businesses.

    The trip we just got back from included a couple nights’ stay at a hotel in rural Yorkshire, UK, which was so dog friendly that we were asked to sit in another dining room for breakfast because we didn’t have a dog with us. We’d walk down the street and see “dog friendly” signs in business’ windows, most comfortable.

    The crocheted Charleses and Dianas on the sidewalk posts around the market square were something new too, it being just a few days before the coronation.

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  70. FDChief said on May 14, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Happy Day, you mothers!

    A decade ago the kiddos got up early to wish their mom a happy day. The Girl (who was probably two-ish) was so excited she was bouncing on the bed just as her mom leaned over to give her a kiss and head-butted mom square in the mouth. Split lip, bitten tongue. Bloody mess…which scared the kiddo so bad she practically blew her diaper out.

    Blood and shit; Happy Mother’s Day!

    Mind you…if you’re looking for WEIRD shit today check out Tubby on his social site wishing a happy day to all the liberal freak queer moms as only he can – with an utterly whack American Carnage rage-tweet (or whatever they call them there…)

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  71. Mark P said on May 14, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    Rolling Stone compared T***p’s Mother’s Day greeting to some of his previous holiday greetings. It’s almost like he has a standard message and just changes the name of the holiday. They suggested he should start a greeting card business. I think he should do that, and then start a cable network where he could make Christmas movies, all with the same plot: Discouraged beautiful blond tires of working for Fox News, goes back to her small home town, meets a rugged man running a company making MAGA T-shirts, falls in love, and they blow themselves up in the nursery of an IRS office building. So romantic!

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