Dropping shoes.

While the rest of the country waited on the Georgia indictment, we had a state-level one today: The pro-Trump losing attorney general candidate and a state legislator were both indicted by a grand jury today. The charge: That sometime after the 2020 election, they and others convinced a number of township clerks in rural Michigan to turn over their voting equipment, which they then took to various locations, disassembled and tried to reverse-engineer the “vote-switching” they claim stole the election from their guy.

If they were any stupider, they’d have difficulty brushing their teeth.

From the NYT story (gift link):

The charges against Mr. DePerno, which include undue possession of a voting machine and a conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a computer or computer system, come after a nearly yearlong investigation in one of the battleground states that cemented the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as president.

Former State Representative Daire Rendon was also charged with two crimes, including a conspiracy to illegally obtain a voting machine and false pretenses.

Four felonies for the big guy. All this was known before the nominating convention last year, but the party still made him their nominee for AG, widely considered the most vulnerable of the three executive offices up for re-election. (Incumbent Dana Nessel has made some mistakes. She also got a little overserved at the UM-MSU game.) They nominated him anyway. All three – the governor and Secretary of State being the other two – were very fortunate in their enemies, and won by wide, comfortable margins.

Some might ask, why did the clerks turn over the equipment? One of the individuals who accompanied DePerno had some sort of bullshit title and organization that sounded official, and wore a sidearm. Nothing like cop energy to intimidate a government official. Some wouldn’t go along with it, though, and bless ’em.

And now, as I write this, I see that the Trump indictment has been unsealed. Let us all discuss that, then, in this storm of falling shoes.

Oh, but before I go, I need to ask you southwesterners: Are these worth buying? I know the Hatch legend, but they always seem a little soft and ready to spoil, probably because Michiganders don’t know what to do with them. Do they travel well?

Posted at 6:31 pm in Uncategorized |

72 responses to “Dropping shoes.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on August 1, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    These are THE indictments we’ve awaited. These can’t be dismissed by the orange cancer like the stolen classified documents. Jack Smith invoked the bravery of the law enforcement officers who fought off the filthy traitors on Jan. 6. It was as if these charges were made in their name. Sipping good bourbon and savoring the sweet, sweet taste of schadenfreude.

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  2. LAMary said on August 1, 2023 at 7:02 pm


    Buy them.

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  3. Deborah said on August 1, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    By all means buy the hatch chiles and freeze them immediately. They are totally worth it and they freeze super well. When you use them in the future, just shave off some while still frozen. Some people say you must roast, seed and peel them before freezing and that is probably best. We have done them both ways though.

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  4. Jeff Gill said on August 1, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    It has been suggested that perhaps the indictment being 45 pages is not entirely an accident. Who knows, but it’s a charming thought as we read the further revelation of just how stupid “the best people” around Trump were.


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  5. A. Riley said on August 1, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    The indictment is written so clearly that anyone who can read it can understand exactly what went on. Whoever’s doing the writing in the Special Prosecutor’s office has a real gift.

    And what went on was a lying liar knowingly lying his face off at every opportunity and plotting to get other people to lie their faces off for him. Pence wouldn’t play along, and the liar told him to his face, “Mike, you’re too honest.”

    Well, now the liar is up against someone who sees right through the lies. He thought Mike Pence was too honest? Wait till he meets Jack Smith.

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  6. alex said on August 2, 2023 at 7:32 am

    Regarding Hatch chiles, I grow Anaheims which are essentially the same pepper, but they don’t taste quite the same when grown in midwestern glacial mud as they do when grown in New Mexico desert sand. And Anaheims get their name because the ones you buy in the supermarket are grown in California. Anyway, if you want to fully appreciate the special taste of Hatch chiles you have to roast them. My two cents’ worth.

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  7. Little Bird said on August 2, 2023 at 8:56 am

    I vote buy them and roast them, then freeze them.

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  8. Jeff Gill said on August 2, 2023 at 9:12 am

    This week in 1923. In the “US Army Infantry Journal.”


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  9. Jenine said on August 2, 2023 at 10:41 am

    I buy already roasted chiles because that seems like a lot of trouble to me. But it does make your house smell delicious for several days afterwards.

    @JeffG, the Angry Staff Officer is on a roll. Here’s last night’s drunk history rant about the disputed election of Rutherford Hayes in 1876 and parallels to 2020: William T Sherman trying to avoid another Civil War

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  10. Deborah said on August 2, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Most of the grocery stores in Santa Fe set up in their parking lots those revolving baskets with propane torches that they roast the chiles in. They started doing it this week. The whole city smells fantastic. It’s a big deal. People buy a case of chiles in the store and then take it out to be roasted while they wait. We buy a couple of small batches at the farmers market each year that last a long time in the freezer.

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  11. Mark P said on August 2, 2023 at 11:56 am

    About 25 years ago I visited my friend in NM with my parents. We stopped at a roadside chile roaster and bought about a bushel. My friend and I ate roasted chiles while my parents went grocery shopping. Their car smelled like chiles for weeks. It was wonderful.

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  12. Sherri said on August 2, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    The 1876 election was wild, in so many ways, with all sorts of shenanigans and disputed counts. I recommend Fraud of the Century, by Roy Morris, Jr, for an overview of what happened.

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  13. susan said on August 2, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    I grow this anaheim hybrid variety every year, until they are fully red. At that point they are so sweet. And then I dehydrate them. I crunch them up and toss into anything. Oh yummmm! Sweet, and just slightly spicy.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on August 2, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Folks, do you think Melania tRump’s hair looks like $108,00? New details on how tRump is rapidly going through the tens of millions raised by his PAC –primarily on legal fees– notes her “hair stylist” was paid that handsome sum as a “consultant.” The thievery of this maggot-infested family never stops.

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  15. Dorothy said on August 2, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    I have not visited here in more than a week so I was getting caught up reading the Barbie post comments. I still have my Skipper! And I’m pretty sure no one mentioned that Skipper is (was?) Barbie’s little sister. Mine was not the booby-growing variety. I’m going to have to get her out of the storage box and do an IG post.

    My friends Cheryl and Mary Ann, neighbors on Trenton Avenue, had way more Barbie stuff than I did. In a family as big as mine, having more than one of something was highly unlikely. So I only had Skipper and no Barbie. My sister Chris may have had one, and Diane and Janet, the littlest girls, most definitely did. So Diane made an elevator for a Barbie one time out of an empty Kleenex box. Turn it on it’s side, make little cuts in the opening to make doors that open and close, run some string up thru the top of the box and you’ve got yourself an elevator to transport a doll from the floor to the dining room table! And Diane also cut the ear off of my stuffed animal dog to make a fur stole for her Barbie. I think I’m still a little mad at her for that. (JUST KIDDING). My first sewing projects were to make very rough little dresses for my Skipper and the little she-wee dolls I had. A piece of fabric folded in half, tiny arm holes cut into them and a straight pin in the back to keep it closed. Come to think of it, that wasn’t really sewing but just cutting and pinning. Anyway, it set me down the path to make my own clothes and eventually quilts.

    And isn’t there so much to look forward to these days what with all the indictments being handed down right and left?! I’m so glad I’m retired so I can keep an eye on breaking news, and have a front row seat for all the court appearances coming up. I have nothing but time these days…..

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  16. Brandon said on August 2, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Lizzo …

    Let’s see what happens.

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  17. 4dbirds said on August 2, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    I love Jack Smith. He’s MY lawyer. Well, the lawyer for the little people. He is charging that Orange MOTHERFUCKER for trying to steal our votes, in essence our right to vote. I don’t care if it is a day, I want the mango in jail. That would be justice enough for me, a conviction and jail.

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  18. Sherri said on August 2, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    I’m really not enjoying this Watergate as farce remake. Watergate was bad enough the first time; these clowns don’t improve it any.

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  19. LAMary said on August 2, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Caitlyn Jenner chimed in to criticize DeSantis for not supporting Trump. In her statement she referred to herself as once being the world’s greatest athlete and mentioned that her father fought in WW2. She did not mention being a step parent to the Kardashians but I think that would have added a lot to her expression of support for the orange smear.

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  20. Dexter Friend said on August 3, 2023 at 3:43 am

    I have spent hours watching coverage and dissection of the 45 pages. The only deflection of charges that Trump can come up with is a declaration that he has the fundamental right of free speech. All the great-mind lawyers are saying sure, free speech is a great thing, but actions speak louder than words. All the stuff Trump did was felonious. I was so hoping for sedition charges, but I hear Smith backed off that as he feared he could not get a conviction there.
    And this free speech? It’s gone. If I post certain things I would like to happen to Trump, Facebook would ban me and the FBI would come knocking on my door.
    And Pogo Dogg must have brought in a visitor. A tick, non-spotted variety, was just crawling on my arm. I got it before it latched on. I hate them worse than snakes.

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  21. 4dbirds said on August 3, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Fuck Caitlyn Jenner. At the risk of sounding like a TERF, she has not shed her entitled white man persona. My dad fought in WWII also. Add in Korea and Vietnam. He would be appalled at someone trying to steal our democracy. I remember in the height of the civil rights protests in the 60s even when cities were burning, my dad (and mom) didn’t say one disparaging thing against people fighting for rights. My dad didn’t grow up in some enlightened family either. It was a hard-scrabble Missouri farm family, and he viewed the army as his ticket to an education he didn’t get as a child and teenager. Post Truman, the army was integrated, and we all lived, played and worked together. Everyone was welcome in our quarters, and I never heard any disparaging word against any race of people. Was everyone in agreement, was it perfect? Of course not. The thing is as far as outward discrimination, it just wasn’t tolerated. More subtle discrimination existed, it existed when I joined the army in 73. I’ve had diversity training since the minute I joined the army. It wasn’t called that, but it existed, and it was a good thing. I despair that we are going backwards and using doublespeak to make sure white people never have to complete against people of color for anything. I’ve not gotten job/positions when I KNEW I was the best person for the job. Of course, it hurts of course I was angry, but I just sucked it up and went on. I never knew there were so many sensitive people out there. Jeesh, I’m rambling on today.

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  22. 4dbirds said on August 3, 2023 at 8:04 am

    That free speech stuff isn’t going to work in court. One does not have the right to free speech to order others to do illegal acts. That’s what he’s being charged with, pressuring and colluding with people to break the law. “We” can’t sit quietly either, it has to be hammered home in the court of public opinion that free speech doesn’t mean you can run a crime empire. Doubt Jack Smith will do that, and Biden won’t because he doesn’t want the taint of being anywhere near this case, so others have to take it up. People the press will look up to and also can get airtime.

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  23. Deborah said on August 3, 2023 at 9:15 am

    This piece in the Bulwark https://plus.thebulwark.com/p/trump-usual-defenses-wont-work-new-indictment is the best explanation of why Trump’s defenses are bogus. I don’t think it’s paywalled because I was able to read it and I’m not a subscriber. It showed up on my Post feed. Also I think the Bulwark is run by Republicans, at least former Republicans like Bill Crystal and Charlie Sikes etc. The only way Trump can be acquitted it seems to me is if the jury has a significant number of biased MAGAs in it or they are tampered with.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on August 3, 2023 at 9:57 am

    And still the mindless, shuffling zombies who worship the orange sack of cat puke embrace him even more. And Fox is, as usual, is leading the charge that this is all political vengeance against the greater political figure in ‘Murican history. I find myself wishing a hunk of plaque deposited by one of the millions of Big Macs he’s consumed does its job and rids us of this cancer, just to shut down this stupid carnival of idiocy. Christ, 2024 is going to be absolutely unbearable.

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  25. Jeff Gill said on August 3, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Jeff B., I think you’re mixing your medical metaphors. 😉

    This proposed Newsom/DeSantis debate with Hannity as moderator shows the desperation of all three, Gavin, Ron, and of course Fox News. Those damages payments have gotta come from somewhere, and MyPillow ad revenue isn’t flowing as it once did…

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  26. alex said on August 3, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Fox is fearful of losing its audience and is colluding with Trump for the continued survival of both. It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s as if the Dominion lawsuit taught them nothing.

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  27. LAMary said on August 3, 2023 at 11:51 am

    The actual posting from C. Jenner is sort of baffling.

    “My dad stormed the beaches of Normandy and survived. I became the world’s greatest athlete in our bicentennial and was the first person in the world to put up our flag. Why? Because I love America. Meanwhile, Ron paints me as a deviant in society. Go home, DeSantis.”

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  28. Icarus said on August 3, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    Oh hey, let’s all travel back in time 7 years:


    We thought it would be bad. We had no idea it would be much worse.

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  29. Sherri said on August 3, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    I’m sitting on the ferry waiting to return home from a trip to Victoria, BC. Really nice place; maybe we’ll run away here when things fall apart in the US.

    While eating breakfast in a cute little cafe this morning, I was looking at an Afghan/Persian rug store next door and trying to figure out any economic model for the store that didn’t involve being a front for something else. It’s hard to see how stores like that possibly do enough sales volume to cover the monthly rent.

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  30. Deborah said on August 3, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    Victoria BC has been on my list to see, have never been there but have heard so many good things about it.

    There are a lot of Afghan/Persian rug places in Santa Fe and Chicago, I assumed they did a rip roaring business because there are so many, but on the other hand I never see anyone inside buying rugs. When we were looking for an area rug for our place in Chicago I looked into those but Lordy they’re expensive.

    LB tells me that one of the places here in Santa Fe that sells rugs and architectural stuff like doors and mantels etc is a front for a drug operation and that everyone but me knew that. If you’ve ever been to Santa Fe you’ve seen this place they have a prominent spot right off of the Plaza and they have loads of giant ornate, carved wooden artifacts piled outside. It all looks pretty cool, I’d love to get a wooden gate from there but have never actually gone looking for one in their lot. It’s kind of intimidating.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on August 3, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    We loved Victoria BC too, so green (lots of rain!) and beautiful flowers. We took the car ferry up from Seattle (?) and stayed at a fancy hotel that looked like a castle. There was a gorgeous garden that we ended up driving through (lots of rain!) and met a couple of Sarah’s friends at two different places. Would like to return.

    I’m tired of talking and reading about Trumpkin and DeathSantis, so I’ll report that we have tickets to two musicals during our next NYC trip. The first is for Sarah and I, a Sondheim musical called Merrily We Roll Along. The other is mostly for Dennis, but should be fun for all, Back to the Future. We have one slot left and are thinking we’ll wait until we’re there to see what we can find last minute. The fees for buying by phone or online are ridiculous, but what can you do if you’re out of town.

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  32. David C said on August 3, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Debating a lying liar like DeSantis is foolish. When you’re constrained by the truth and the other has no constraints at all they’ll just Gish gallop you all over the place.

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  33. Deborah said on August 3, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Never heard the term Gish galloping before, Googled it. Interesting, you learn something everyday on nn.c.

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  34. FDChief said on August 3, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    Just returned from Victoria (as well as day trips to Nanaimo and Sooke). Pretty in a Pacific NW way. Burchart Gardens is as advertised, and the SW coast is very secluded and scenic. The little Canadian Scottish museum (it’s IN the armory, there’s no sign, but the nice duty NCO will show you how to get upstairs) is quirky and fun. Still don’t understand why “Scottish”, tho…

    Julie: I was in one of the preview audiences for “Merrily” during its first run back in the 1980s. It was a deeply weird experience. The crowd was hugely predisposed to love the show. I mean…Sondheim, right? So the curtain went up and…wow. I’d seen “Company” and “Pacific Overtures” and “Sweeney Todd” and I’d never seen a Sondheim audience sit on their hands before. I was stunned. But they did. IIRC the show did open, and ran for something like seventeen performances.

    I had no idea it was in revival.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on August 3, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    Merrily might have been the floppiest of all Sondheim flops, but like so many of his shows it’s beloved by a certain segment of fans. Those fans are excited enough that tickets were more than double Back to the Future, which is likely to become a tourist hit.

    What makes Merrily a deeply weird experience is how the story is told: back to front. Audiences were unprepared for that the first time around, and casting was not the best.

    This revival already had a short run off-Broadway to rave reviews and full houses. It also has lots of star power, with Daniel Radcliffe, Lindsay Mendez, and literal Broadway royalty Jonathan Groff. Groff was the original King George III in Hamilton: https://youtu.be/88HLStTDkyg

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  36. alex said on August 4, 2023 at 6:59 am

    Gish galloping… so that’s what they call it. One of my bosses is a master of the art, and he’s the sole reason I’d like to retire early and save my sanity.

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  37. 4dbirds said on August 4, 2023 at 8:55 am

    My son was the first person to let me know about these infrequently visited businesses being fronts to launder money. He rented space in one such business to hold comedy open mic nights. I asked what they would be laundering, and he said human smuggling, drugs, prostitution, bribery/protection. Immigrants, especially those without papers are really exploited in this country.

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  38. Jeff Gill said on August 4, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Icarus, that was interestingly painful.

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  39. Dexter Friend said on August 4, 2023 at 10:34 am

    Ron DeSantis verbally promised to slit the throats of his detractors on day 1 of his presidency.
    Chew on that for a moment.

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  40. ROGirl said on August 4, 2023 at 11:45 am

    I won’t be doing much chewing if my throat has been slit.

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  41. Mark P said on August 4, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Dee Santis won’t be slitting any throats unless Casey holds his hand. She’s apparently the only one with balls in the family.

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  42. Deborah said on August 4, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Hilarious. Amazing that the two candidates with the higher percentages in the polls now for the Republican nomination are as we all know Trump who’s way ahead and DeSantis after that. Both are absolutely the most unfit of the bunch, how anyone would vote for either one of them is beyond me. Why is it that Republicans insist on picking the worst of the lot?

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  43. Julie Robinson said on August 4, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Are any of them fit? Not by my standards.

    Latest from DeSantis is that AP Psych classes cannot be taught here beause they cover sexuality. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh.

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  44. LAMary said on August 4, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    So DeSantis wants to debate Gavin Newsom? Interesting. Gavin’s been fundraising for his “democracy project” for a year and denying he wants to run for prez the whole time. He’s a lot more appealing than Ron in pretty much every way. And he used to be married to Kimberly Guilfoyle.

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  45. susan said on August 4, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    And he used to be married to Kimberly Guilfoyle.
    Yeah. That poor judgment disqualifies him in my mind, for “higher office.”

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  46. Deborah said on August 4, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    As much as I can’t stand Pence, or Nikki Haley I’d say they’re more fit than Trump or DeSantis. But barely. The only one of the Republican field that seems decent is Hurd, not that I’d vote for him because he’s still a Republican all for the rich folks etc, but at least he seems to possess some character. I haven’t really studied his qualifications to be honest. I appreciate Christy’s going both barrels against Trump but he’s a blowhard that shouldn’t be president. I won’t be voting Republican, that’s for sure and I never have.

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  47. Jeff Borden said on August 4, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    We cannot vote for any Republicans for any office whether it’s for township trustee or the highest office in the land. The party is short-sighted, angry, cruel and stupid. Oh, and it has zero animating ideas beyond fluffing the donor class. Only loss after loss after loss will alter it.

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  48. Peter said on August 4, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    Persian rug stores a money laundering front? I doubt the ones in Chicago are; I know a few owners through an art dealer (now THERE’S a money laundering candidate) whose parents came from Armenia.

    That’s where I learned a couple tricks of their trade – the major Chicago places are all owned by Armenians. One of them at a time goes back to buy rugs, then the group looks them over and they divvy up the shipment. They swap rugs with each other constantly, which is how you might see the same rug at different dealers. The ones that don’t move are sold off to dealers in other cities to begin a new cycle there.

    There’s little to no chance you’ll find a rug that’s truly on sale – if the price is slashed it’s the last chance before it gets put on a truck to be sold elsewhere. They don’t mind playing the waiting game – I’ve been told that they’ll hold on to a rug for over ten years with no worries – if you won’t pay their price, one day, somebody will.

    If you take care of a rug, it will last – my aunt has a couple of orientals that are over 70 years old and they’re in great condition.

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  49. Icarus said on August 4, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t know about Persian Rugs stores in Chicagoland but I do know there is a Lamp Store (Al-Bazzar) in my old hood that opened a few years ago. Its main item was Turkish lamps. They might have also sold candles and pre-paid phone cards.

    Even before the pandemic, I wondered just how many lamps can a store like that sell to survive Chicago real estate prices. It’s had a few Going Out of Business announcements. Now it is rebranding as a coffee shop that sells lamps.

    Yeah. That poor judgment disqualifies him in my mind, for “higher office.”

    They were married in the early Aughts, I suspect she was less batshit insane back then.

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  50. LAMary said on August 4, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve read that she was not batshit crazy at all then. She was very much a democrat and a liberal one at that. She fooled around with her campaign manager. He might have been fooling around too. Neither of them was fooling around with sex workers, teenagers or porn actors.

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  51. Sherri said on August 4, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    On an another topic we’ve discussed here before, college admissions, Virginia Tech has announced that they are eliminating legacy admissions and (this caught my attention) early decision. For those of you not familiar with the modern college admission landscape, there are two options for applying early, usual in late fall, ahead of the normal application deadline in January. One is early action, which is non-binding; if you’re accepted, you’re not committed to attending, and you can apply early action to multiple schools. The other is early decision, which is binding; if you’re accepted, you’re committed to that school, must withdraw any other applications to schools, and can only apply to one school early decision.

    So, why get rid of early decision? It’s a hack that enables people with money to get in easier. You generally only apply early decision if you can afford the tuition without needing to compare financial aid offers from other schools. I’ll be honest, I pushed my daughter to do early decision. She had a prohibitive favorite, I knew we wouldn’t qualify for financial aid anyway, so why not put the thumb on the scale to get in early? I was well aware of what I was doing, though I don’t think my daughter or husband grasped it. I have little doubt she would have gotten in anyway, and this way, I didn’t have to nag her about filling out more applications.

    I don’t know how many kids do early decision, but it is a hack pretty much only available to rich kids.

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  52. Deborah said on August 4, 2023 at 11:27 pm

    Finally saw Oppenheimer, it’s a very entertaining movie, I highly recommend it. Robert Downey Jr, needs to win some kind of Oscar for his performance. I had no idea he had it in him. Hardly any New Mexico scenes are in the movie, most of it happens in interiors, probably in studios. Jeff Gill you will recognize some of the scenery shot from the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, on the west side of highway 84, with Pedernal in the background. Something very familiar, but it’s at least 30 miles from Los Alamos if that’s where they were supposed to be. Only a few scenes are of familiar places to me, some of it was shot in southern NM near where the Trinity test happened, but I’m not as familiar with that landscape so I don’t know.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on August 5, 2023 at 5:18 am

    We have Bryan Cranston, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Denzel, Leo, Brad, all vying for most popular male actor today, all contingent on which guy you enjoy watching work; it’s not a contest. But critics who rate and rank male actors for skillful technique will always say Robert Downey, Jr. is the cream of the crop, the best, the king. He commands a salary to prove it. He owns a huge ranch near Malibu which must be worth $100M.

    “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” So Trump, spared a gag order (formally), was still told to basically shut his trap about intimidating people or he’d be remanded to pre-trial confinement. Well, judge? He did it! Now LOCK HIM UP.

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  54. David C said on August 5, 2023 at 7:41 am

    TFG and his lawyers will never shut their stupid pieholes. He’s already sunk and they keep drilling more holes in the boat to let the water out.

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  55. FDChief said on August 5, 2023 at 9:41 am

    Julie: I think the backwards-timeline is part of what made “Merrily” such a flop during the original run. The first act is so dark that it makes the hopeful sunrise at the final curtain seem like a vicious parody of hope. A Broadway audience of the Eighties wasn’t going to be ready for that level of cynicism. My understanding is that the book has been substantially rewritten, so perhaps that’s helped,

    The Girl and I immensely enjoyed Hadestown, so I can do dark, I just don’t recall the earlier show with any particular fondness, so I must have had other reasons for not loving it…

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  56. Jeff Gill said on August 5, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Deborah, the mock-up Trinity site was east of Belen, so south of ABQ but not as far as the original location. I was surprised they let Pedernal show up as often as they did in backgrounds, distinctive as it is; you see it in the Perro Gordita sequence at Oppenheimer’s ranch (which is east-southeast of Santa Fe) when Oppy & Kitty are riding, and behind Matt Damon in one scene, then back of another character later all around the Los Alamos set, which was on a relatively level and untouched mesa west of 84, but due south of the O’Keefe section of the ranch north & east of 84. When the “gadget” is leaving the Los Alamos set, the views above the truck are due north, looking at the cliffs that were right behind O’Keefe’s house and in her famous “Red and Yellow Cliffs.” The church I’m doing the retreat for over Labor Day weekend is where many of the lab shots were done, in a hall named for one of the early Los Alamos scientists, wrapping up the ironies in some interesting bundles. It’s going to be an interesting group conversation; much of the congregation at United Church works at LANL, and some of them were part of the effort last year to posthumously restore Oppenheimer’s security clearance through Sec. Granholm’s office — the place is still managed by the Department of Energy.

    You see a corner of “Red and Yellow Cliffs” behind Nichols’s shoulder here; I can’t find an image online of the truck leaving Los Alamos.


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  57. Julie Robinson said on August 5, 2023 at 9:55 am

    FD, with Sondheim you go for the music. Each song is a mini-masterpiece on the human condition. Sometimes the books don’t work. But, Not a Day Goes By* that I’m not singing him.

    *Arguably the best known song from Merrily.

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  58. Jeff Gill said on August 5, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Perro Caliente, por favor. Not Gordita.

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  59. FDChief said on August 5, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Arguably the ONLY known song from “Merrily” (tho it took me a long while to recall liking the “Opening Doors” number…”)

    Some of Sondheim works as a show as well as as a revue. Sweeney. Company. Into the Woods. I’m one of the few fans who actually likes Pacific Overtures and not just as a stretch.

    I think why Merrily has been shunted into the “minor Sondheim” alongside stuff like The Frogs is just what you pointed out; there’s only one really standout number in a book that’s relentlessly dour and characters that are hard to engage. It’s not awful…but it’s no Sweeney, either, and that’s the bar…

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  60. Sherri said on August 5, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    I can see that David French is trying to get it, and perhaps I should cut him some slack. He recently wrote about Jason Aldean’s stupid song, and said that through his own experiences adopting an Ethiopian daughter and being anti-Trump, he came to see how the measure of the worth of a small town should be in how they treat their outsiders. Okay.

    But. David French is only a few years younger than me, and grew up in much the same world that I did. He was raised in evangelical churches, went to college at Lipscomb, a Christian college in Nashville, and all he had to do was open his eyes and ears to learn that lesson before adulthood. He would have seen before his adopted daughter how Black people in the South were treated. He certainly would have been taught about “the least of these your brethren.” He just didn’t see anything wrong with it until it happened to him.

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  61. Little Bird said on August 5, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve got a friend that lives in Los Alamos and she often posted on Facebook about how she couldn’t do some of her preferred hikes because they were filming. She also posted some pictures in June after filming had been completed of some of the fake snow they left behind. So at least some of the exterior shots are actually in the right area. I’m definitely wanting to see the movie, and preferably in a theater. I also want to see Barbie, but don’t have a preference on which comes first.

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  62. Julie Robinson said on August 5, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Residents of the Los Alamos area have faulted the movie for not showing the effects on the land and the people. I think it’s fair, especially since it’s three frickin’ hours long.

    One more Sondheim comment: his shows work well in concert productions because the music is the show. Not the set, not the costumes, not the lighting or special effects, and not even so much the dialog. Think about many of the shows out today, possibly including the other one we’ll see next, Back to the Future. They need all that other stuff. Sondheim doesn’t. A little is helpful for Sunday in the Park with Geroge, but you still get the entire breadth of the story and depth of emotions listening to the cast album.

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  63. Jeff Gill said on August 5, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    I didn’t “see” racism until I started seminary; I knew about it, could mouth some pieties around it and why it’s bad, but the evil of systemic racism in social systems was essentially invisible to me until I was about 24. And the problem with seeing racism is you can’t stop seeing it, not without doing your own consciousness and self-image some serious damage. When it’s something you keep running into within your own reactions, and bump into hard with people you love and treasure, it gets challenging as in Orwell’s reminder “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

    Writing about the Klan’s social & political dominance in this area 100 years ago, I run into it the other way around. Lots of folk asking me in person and online “why are you dredging up awful things from 1923,” or “make sure you balance that out with the good some of those people did later” and so on. A constant struggle. And I run into odd chunks of my own racist conditioning at the most startling moments. Writing about one of those for next Friday’s paper, in fact.

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  64. Sherri said on August 5, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    I’m not saying I was an enlightened anti-racist as a teenager, but I can also clearly remember, when my mom made some comment about some black person overreacting and blaming racism when complaining about a store owner following them around, saying to her that maybe the problem was that it wasn’t the first time it had happened. I don’t get how you can grow up in the South and not see racism. French almost certainly attended all white churches; I also remember a discussion at my church about what they would do if a black person came to our church. “Welcome them” was not the answer.

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  65. Deborah said on August 5, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    Jeff G, I didn’t realize you had already seen the movie. You obviously know way more about the NM locations than I do.

    A year or so back, my husband and I were driving back to our cabin from Ghost Ranch and noticed some movie filming going on, on the west side of highway 84 a bit off in the distance because we couldn’t see much except for some trucks and the yellow arrow signs they put up to tell the movie trucks where to go. Some of the views in the movie would have been absolutely from that location. When Oppenheimer was meeting with his mistress, later wife and it was very windy, plus another scene when he was up there with his brother etc. The wind in the scenes is very indicative of how windy it is in the higher altitudes in Abiquiu almost all of the time now. Not that it wasn’t windy from time to time before but now it’s constant and much more ferocious. At least it gives some relief from the high temps.

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  66. Suzanne said on August 5, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    I was aware of racism growing up because my fraternal grandfather was horribly racist. He hated Catholics as much as people of different races. The story goes that my aunt was dating a guy who was Catholic and she was told that she would not be welcome in her parents’ home if she married him. My maternal grandmother was the same. What I didn’t get until much later in life was the systemic racism and how often the white viewpoint is society’s default. I would never believed that in my younger years.
    I listened to this today which sheds light on much that I didn’t know about indigenous food systems and the way white colonialism managed to screw that up with repercussions today.


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  67. Deborah said on August 6, 2023 at 12:25 am

    We are dealing with some issues with our condo owner neighbor, she’s Hispanic, lesbian and she believes with all of her heart, along with her wife that we are discriminating against her because of those reasons. First of all none of us are discriminating against her for any reason, at all. But we get how her culture in Santa Fe is being eclipsed and that has to be hard on her. She’s a 16th generation Santa Fean, and she bought her unit in our building 33 years ago when it first became a Condo building, she feels because of that she deserves some deference as to rules and regulations. She doesn’t of course but it does make us think about what it must feel like to have your culture turned upside down like it has been in Minnesota small towns like the one we went to for my niece’s husband’s funeral a couple of months ago. Doesn’t make it right but it makes one think about what might be influencing them in their vulnerable states.

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  68. LAMary said on August 6, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Clarence Thomas likes to hang out with the regular people in RV parks.


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  69. Deborah said on August 6, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    I keep expecting the shoe to drop for a new post. But hey, it’s summer and there’s lots to do out there.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on August 7, 2023 at 4:41 am

    As a white boy from all-white country in Indiana who went to all white schools and did not know any African-Americans until I was 18, you’d probably tell me to shut my mouth and listen because I don’t know a thing about racism. That is until you hear that I rode an old red bus all around the southern USA in 1968 and 1969 with my teammates, in my role of token white boy with a traveling show baseball team. I have told some of the stories here so no need to re-hash them. Some of my teammates didn’t like me at all and one even started a fight with me on the baseball field during a game. And then there was J.D. Stevenson, from Lafayette, Louisiana, one of the finest men and friends I ever made anywhere, who was also the blackest man I ever saw. There wasn’t any white blood in that cat. Maybe that’s why I liked him so much.

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  71. ROGirl said on August 7, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I saw the Barbie movie yesterday and agree that although it lost focus near the end, it was a lot of fun.

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  72. Jeff Borden said on August 7, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    Anyone else savoring the sight of the Orange King being tried in front of a tough, black woman judge in D.C. It’s gotta sting the bastard charged by the DOJ with refusing to rent apartments to people of color. She’s one of “those people.”

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