The Messiah comes to town.

I am running out of steam to talk about you-know-who, but goddamnit, the Detroit News stuck this fucking paywalled piece of crap into my face this morning, and OK then, I’m taking the bait.

A rare double byline, for starters, the longtime editor and his current underling go on a Cletus safari to the latest Trump rally, last weekend in Oakland County. What is yet to be learned about Trump disciples? I haven’t a clue, but the headline tells us: Trump’s messianic message resonates with the forgotten and I nearly spit out my coffee. Forgotten? Forgotten? I feel like these people and their mystifying beliefs have been shoved in my face on a near-daily basis for years. But OK, let’s read on:

Three buddies are sitting in an Irish bar in Waterford Township, drinking beer and talking politics.

It’s Saturday night, and one of the trio is waiting to go to Donald Trump’s fly-in rally at nearby Oakland International Airport. The other is killing time while his wife attends the event. And the third is not sure where he stands on Trump and would like to hear what the former president has to say. But he doesn’t have a ticket.

“You wouldn’t happen to have an extra one, would you?” he asks us.

That’s our first indication of what the night ahead holds. Most politicians have to bus people in for their appearances to make the venues look full. For Trump, the crowd is scrounging for tickets.

Ooh, a scene-setter. And shoutout to the dude who still — still! — isn’t sure where he stands on Trump and would like to hear what he has to say, but alas, there’s apparently no way to find out short of standing in an unheated airplane hanger for a few hours. But here’s the part that sent the top of my skull into the rafters:

“He’s endured untoward suffering on our behalf,” said Ed Chandler, a pastor and bus driver from Grand Blanc who arrived early and found a place to stand right up front. “The least I could do was to show up in person to support him. It’s important for all of us to take a stand for what we believe is right.”

The messianic undercurrent ran through the evening, and Trump played to it. After a lengthy diatribe on the litany of legal attacks on him by what he called crooked judges and corrupt prosecutors, Trump told his devotees, “I’m being indicted for you. Never forget.”

Intentionally or not, it brought to mind Christ’s communion promise, “This is my blood, shed for you.” Trump’s new covenant sounds much like the old one, built on promises to build a wall, put criminals in jail, derail the green agenda and bring China, Russia and Iran to their knees with just the sound of his voice.

I’d say Pastor Ed needs to go back to divinity school and learn a few things about Jesus. But I’ve read this before — he says it every time he opens his mouth — and what’s more, I’ve heard it repeated by idiots. A woman in my Facebook network quoted her husband saying just that, after the Stormy Daniels hush-money indictment came down, and I replied that as long as her husband wasn’t paying adult-film actresses for their silence, they’d probably be OK, and yes, this is coming from a public Christian and what the hell has happened to American Christianity, that they’ll swallow this bullshit so eagerly? You tell me. More:

While Saturday night’s crowd was still mostly White, we noticed it was a lot younger than in the past. A generation that came to age during the upheaval of the COVID pandemic is also looking to Trump to save it.

“My generation is most concerned about housing,” said Christian Armstrong, a 21-year-old Wayne County Community College District student from Detroit. “We want to be able to buy a house to get a start in the capitalist system, and we can’t.”

Armstrong also is sympathetic to Trump’s claims of persecution. “They’re trying to keep him off the ballot, and that’s not right,” he said.

When I was 21, I was in no position to buy a house, either, but at least I have some sympathy for this plaint, because it’s legit. I have no idea what Trump is going to do about it, but if he wins, there may be an explosion of inventory that will drive prices down, as millions of Americans flee to Canada or Mexico or Costa Rica or Europe. But this, this, was the coup de fuckin’ gras:

Rola Makki, a young woman from Livonia who showed up in a red “Arab Americans for Trump” shirt, explained her attraction to the enduring figure.

“He’s never dismissed the suffering of the Palestinian people,” she said. “He’s always highlighted that yes, it’s both sides. To me, that’s someone who has humanity and compassion for people no matter what their background is.”

Her perception of Trump’s empathy can’t be dismissed. Trump speaks directly to the frustration and fears of a large portion of the electorate. President Joe Biden hopes to convince voters they’re not really as bad off as they think they are and has ignored their worries about inflation and immigration. Trump gives voice to their angst. He hears people who believe no one else is listening.

This must be what happens when legit news operations die, that an Arab American can believe this when Trump has said right out loud that he would reject Gazan refugees, impose a religious and ideological purity test for immigration, and said of the war in Gaza that “you have to let it play out,” not to MENTION his relationship with the Israeli prime minister — I mean, I’m just speechless. (Of the Abandon Biden movement gathering steam in Dearborn we will not speak. Yet.) Oh, and a little Googling revealed that this “young woman from Livonia” holds a vice-chair position in a state GOP outreach committee, so this column wins a bonus Salena Zito Jes’ Folks award, too.

I don’t know why I let this stuff bug me, but I do.

And now it’s Thursday, the weekend is right around the corner, and I intend to enjoy mine. I hope you enjoy yours, too.

Posted at 12:29 pm in Current events |

55 responses to “The Messiah comes to town.”

  1. Dexter Friend said on February 22, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    Mike Lindell has to pay a 64 year old man in Las Vegas $5M for proving the election was not rigged. The My Pillow man had promised the dough to anyone who could prove it was all legal and above board. The geezer proved it, and Lindell must pay. Of course he won’t pay a damn dime for years, if ever.

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  2. LAMary said on February 22, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    I want to smack people and tell them to snap out of it. He’s a terrible person. Period. He’s willing to let people die in Ukraine, the border and Gaza and allow a vicious dictator to invade countries. He admires other wannabe dictators. For fucks sake he wanted to kill his vice president. Somebody wants to learn more about him? Jeez.

    In other news I’m still testing positive for covid. Paxlovid isn’t giving me a metallic taste in mouth. It’s more like a vomit taste. It’s bad in any case. Tangerines seem to to mitigate it a bit.

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  3. Disgusted said on February 22, 2024 at 1:16 pm

    Straight outta the NYT playbook. Both-sidesism by the media is as much to blame for our current state as anything else, and it’s becoming an entrenched part of “journalism” culture now—exactly the same phenomenon driving the Trump cult. “What, I can’t be curious? I can’t ask questions? What makes you so smart? See, Trump must be kinda right.” Journalists once priced themselves on not being suckers. Now they’re happy participants in the outrage-infotainment complex.

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  4. Dave said on February 22, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    It all bugs me, too. Just yesterday, a story in The Washington Post caught my attention when I read that The Teamsters donated $45,000 to the Republican National Committee. The union that I was a member of for a good many years throughout my railroading days was the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers-Trainmen, which became the rail division of The Teamsters in 2006, I believe. I was astonished by this and sent a e-mail to the BLE-T expressing my strong disapproval. I’ve been retired over 13 years and had no part in any union affairs since that time but reading that story was a little too much for me. So far, no answer.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on February 22, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    I’m waiting for the day a journalist walks into a coffee shop or tavern in Rogers Park, Streeterville, Pilsen or most any other Chicago neighborhood aside, maybe, from Jefferson Park, which is filled with cops and firefighters who lean tRumpian. They never stop by to ask what we think of our illegitimate Supreme Court, the attacks on women’s health care, the outright hatred directed at immigrants, the book bans and the transgender freakouts.

    There are far more of us than there are of MAGAts, but you’d never know it. Fuck the Detroit News. Fuck their gooey, gauzy view of a madman running for preznit. And double fuck the morons too stupid to see just how ignorant they are about how things work. Read some books, particularly history books, you goobers.

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  6. FDChief said on February 22, 2024 at 1:40 pm

    The value of Trump – other than the immense amount of compost he’ll generate when he goes down for his dirt nap – is the degree to which his cultists have exposed how many people are 1) stupid, 2) gullible, 3) garbage, or some combination of all three.

    I think most of us on the left-ish side of the aisle had illusions of the fundamental decency of the Average American.

    Well…okay, no. The reality is that there’s a huge slug of this Trumpfenscum out there. They will rule or ruin, and they cannot be reasoned with, cannot be pleaded with, cannot be stopped except with…well, you know and so do I.

    The GOP must be destroyed.

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  7. Jeff Gill said on February 22, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    My father voted for Obama twice, Trump once, and had he lived a few more months was aiming to vote for him again in 2020. I knew him better than anyone else in their eighties, for all of the older Midwesterners I was dealing with at the time as a parish minister who had pivoted hard to Trump, and I never did understand what drove him there, except that this man who lived to explain things could not muster complete sentences to me in defending his growing xenophobia (not how he raised me, not at all) & Christian conservatism (ditto times two).

    Except that while he had avoided Rush on the radio, by dint of the fact that his life-long deafness meant he was impervious to that media outlet, in retirement he’d gotten connected to the device in new ways that meant he could fairly clearly hear cable TV in the house, and that was increasingly Fox News. Even more problematic, this man who had taught me a fairly progressive view of the faith in which we were raised had become more and more enamored of Biblical literalism out of his fellowship choices. The church he and Mom attended in Texas was effectively Southern Baptist, and out of what I can only call peer pressure the guy who had defended RSV in the pews and letting the youth group have Good News/TEV Bibles (long story, but a big mainline fight in the 60s & early 70s, on which he was in the liberal camp) ended up buying and using exclusively a KJV Bible at the end of his life. He asked me in one of our last conversations about when they came back in the spring if I wanted to join them on a planned visit to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. I was as courteous as I could manage, but my reasons for not visiting didn’t discourage him half as much as when I closed with “and it’s $60 a head, Dad.” “Oh.” That said something, at least.

    This keeps me reading Cletus safari pieces, because I will freely admit four years later I’m still rattled by it all, let alone how it crystalized in my own community a few months after his death into levering me out of the job I thought I’d hold until 2028. Condemn as rubes Trump voters all you want, but I don’t get how people like my father turned that corner, and I foolishly keep trying to figure out how, if only to use that insight to reel a few of them back . . . even if it can’t happen for Dad.

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  8. Sherri said on February 22, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    Can I smack the journalists who seem afraid to ask these idiots a follow-up question?

    The GOP wants to stop immigration, ban Muslims, make us all live with the most reactionary Catholic idea of health care rights when it comes to reproductive care, end of life care, gender-affirming care, deport all the immigrants (mostly undocumented, but they don’t care who gets swept up), completely gut the administrative state that, you know, keeps our water and air and food and drugs and products from killing us, and in general, return us to the Gilded Age at best, pre-Enlightenment at worst.

    But, hey, did you know that Biden is really old!!!

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  9. Jakash said on February 22, 2024 at 2:33 pm

    “would like to hear what the former president has to say”

    “would like to hear what the former president has to say”

    “would like to hear what the former president has to say”

    Yep, I guess I actually did read that. He’s been barking his carnival bullshit on the regular for almost 9 years, as his primary grift. Is that guy Rip Van Finkle?

    He’s not been indicted “for you,” but because he’s a long-time criminal, having committed a bracing assortment of crimes. In a nation that functioned better than this benighted wannabe kleptocracy, lifetime imprisonment might be the lesser punishment for the treason he perpetrated before, during and after Jan. 6 and which he continues to defend. Keeping him off the ballot, for crying out loud, would be a no-brainer.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    Ahh, the King James Bible, representing the finest Biblical scholarship of 1611 and published by the gayest ever monarch. I know most of the eldsters at church support Trump, even as they increasingly need Medicaid and food stamps, which have tiny benefits in this Republican state. But he says the right things and incredibly, they believe him. That ridiculous moment when he literally wrapped himself in the flag? They love him for it. FDChief, they are #1 and #2 on your list.

    I’m loving all the memes about visiting orphanages, ie the egg sections in grocery stores. The humor of it is helping me get through.

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  11. Deborah said on February 22, 2024 at 3:13 pm

    Finding out how many of my fellow Americans are mind bendingly gullible and downright mean has been the most eye opening aspect of this whole MAGA era to me. I had no idea and it’s sooooo depressing. I’m not surprised about the Republican leadership but the average Republican citizen, that was not something I was aware of.

    The Putin wing of the Republican Party is especially surprising. Who knew?

    Pasadena is the place where the John Birch Society was founded, we drove past the original headquarters last night and my sister in law pointed it out. I always thought that the Bircher’s were weird but the MAGAts are worse.

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  12. jcburns said on February 22, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Quoth Jakash:

    He’s not been indicted “for you,” but because he’s a long-time criminal, having committed a bracing assortment of crimes. In a nation that functioned better than this benighted wannabe kleptocracy, lifetime imprisonment might be the lesser punishment for the treason he perpetrated before, during and after Jan. 6 and which he continues to defend. Keeping him off the ballot, for crying out loud, would be a no-brainer.

    Really well-written and I agree with every word.

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  13. alex said on February 22, 2024 at 4:08 pm

    My friend in Chicago who defends Trump and has been trying to get me to read Ann Althouse really threw me for a loop and still does. I think perhaps he always secretly fancied himself a country club Republican and that’s how Althouse probably sees herself too: Not stupid enough to throw in with the rabble but glad to have their votes all the same. I notice that Althouse never posts anything that’s full-throated MAGA. Rather, she cultivates MAGA by crop-dusting from a stealth plane and lets her commentariat throw the poo.

    But even if you’re just a snob-appeal Republican, wouldn’t you have to be completely ensconced in the right-wing media bubble to shrug off January 6, or Trump’s petty bullying and name-calling or his embrace of our enemies and jilting of our allies? He’s comparing himself to Navalny, fer Chrissake, while sucking up to Putin. Guess it doesn’t matter when you spend all of your mental capital on memorizing French wines and Swiss timepieces and have nothing left over for reading about world affairs.

    That screwy harridan of a judge, Wendy Davis, who’s running for Congress in my district, boasts about Trump’s presence on the world stage as if he’s anything but the embarrassing clown he has proven to be. I can see yutzes thinking his swagger and bravado make us look formidable, to the extent they even think about foreign policy at all, but a judge who’s running for Congress? And don’t even get me started with the other political ads from around here. They’re absolutely ghastly.

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  14. Scout said on February 22, 2024 at 4:10 pm

    The thing that these goober thugs never seem to ask themselves is why trump never proclaims his innocence, instead nattering on forever about his supposed immunity.

    The media is failing us once again. “He’s old” is the new “but her emails” and gallons of ink are being deployed to give an unfair advantage to trump, Putin and the rest of the GQP rot. A Russian operative behind the whole Biden bribe lies promoted by Comer et al? Page 16 in the New York Fucking Times, while more Biden is old nonsense graces the front page.

    I’m sick of Cletus safaris too. When are they going to finally give a shit what normal people are thinking? When they’re flying down to Costa Rica to find out why we all left?

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  15. Sherri said on February 22, 2024 at 5:49 pm

    I can’t help you with how people like Jeff’s dad get lured into Christian conservatism and Trumpism, because I grew up in a world where everyone already believed the KJV was the literal word of God and black people should go to their own church and were xenophobic (including about Yankees, Catholics, and Jews.) I wasn’t surprised that they embraced Trump, because as I said at the time, he hates all the right people, the people who make them feel uncomfortable or wrong or stupid.

    Trump tells them that they are the people who should be on top, and everyone else is wrong, and should stop making them feel bad.

    Look, living in a multiracial, multicultural democracy means being uncomfortable sometimes. It means that even with the best intentions, you’re going to offend someone sometimes. You don’t mean to, but that doesn’t mean that you didn’t hurt them. But most people really, really hate that, because their self-perception is that they are *good*, and so it must be someone else’s fault. Trump says, you bet, it *is* that other person’s fault! Maybe it’s just as simple as that; in a rapidly changing world, people get tired of trying to keep up and reach for an answer that says they’re good and right.

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  16. David C said on February 22, 2024 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t know one person who voted for Biden last time around who is voting for TFG. Democrats are over performing in just about every special election. There was a special election in for the Oklahoma State House last week in a district TFG won by 33 points in ’20. The Republican won by just 5 points. People are still mighty pissed about abortion and every extrauterine children in cryogenic nurseries ruling is only going to hurt them more. Sure the Sulzburger family want’s a horse race because they make more money that way. Their choice for the paper’s CEO came up through the advertising department, which seems about as bad for a newspaper as putting bean counters in charge of Boeing instead of engineers. But money is their drug of choice.

    Trump is a losing loser who is going to lose. He’s too fucking stupid to know how unpopular the shit he says is outside of his bubble. He’s going to keep saying it and as the rubes get tired of hearing reruns, he’ll say worse to keep them creaming their underoos. He’s not going to win.

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  17. Deborah said on February 22, 2024 at 6:05 pm

    There’s a documentary by a woman who felt her dad got sucked in to Fox News over the years after being a progressive Democrat as a younger man. He started being brainwashed by listening to Rush Limbaugh for hours on end and then began watching Fox. The movie showed how his personality was gradually changed to an angry right wing curmudgeon after having been a kind, animal loving dad. Propaganda is discussed by experts throughout the film. It was made before Trump hit the scene and is quite illuminating. Sorry I don’t have a link, it was free on Amazon Prime as I recall.

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  18. Sherri said on February 22, 2024 at 7:05 pm

    Josh Marshall points out how one of the dominant news stories of 2023, the Hunter Biden story, has not only been debunked but has been shown to be planted by Russian intelligence.

    “The story here isn’t that the “Biden Crime Family” nonsense didn’t pan out. That was always transparently bogus. The story here is how the U.S. again got bamboozled by transparent foreign manipulation and how the U.S. political press bought into it pretty much whole hog. That doesn’t mean they accepted all the claims. But they treated it as reasonable, worthy of a presumption of seriousness, a serious story to be covered as such.”

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  19. Suzanne said on February 22, 2024 at 7:08 pm

    Sherri, yes to this: “…in a rapidly changing world, people get tired of trying to keep up and reach for an answer that says they’re good and right.” So they fall back on what they know and what worked in the past. What I can’t understand is how they think Trump will provide them with anything but chaos but willful blindness is harder to overcome than physical blindness, I believe.
    It reminds me of a documentary that I have a vague memory of watching years ago about Stalinist Russia and a woman who thought Stalin was a great leader despite her friends and family telling her otherwise. She was steadfast in her view until Stalin’s goons came to her apartment building one night and carted off her neighbor that she well knew had committed no crimes against the state. I expect to see a lot of that in the future.

    Deborah, I think that film is called The Brainwashing of my Dad.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on February 22, 2024 at 7:14 pm

    David G.,

    At one level, I agree 100%, but there are so many voters out there I do not understand. Muslims in Michigan are going to boycott Biden, possibly electing a preznit who would deport every dusky hued immigrant, has openly called for prohibiting Muslims from immigrating, talks openly of military-style roundups of immigrants and relocations to immense deportation camps in red states. Crazy.
    Leftists are going to spurn Biden because he cannot control Netanyahu, they think Biden alone can create a ceasefire. So, yeah, elect one of Bibi’s butt buddies and it will all improve.

    Time to pay attention.

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  21. Brandon said on February 22, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    This year’s CPAC was a bust.

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  22. Sherri said on February 22, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    I do feel some empathy for those who feel tired trying to keep up with a changing world. The problem is, their comfort comes at too high a price. Nobody else gets to share that comfort. They’re lucky if they get to live.

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  23. Suzanne said on February 22, 2024 at 9:10 pm

    How interesting. Mr & Mrs Mike Pence conceived through IVF

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  24. Cheez Whiz said on February 22, 2024 at 9:33 pm

    The key is that victim mentality. Fox has been bombarding them for decades that they,the Real Americans, are under threat and seige from every direction, and they sincerely believe it. Trump, far more than any other politician, understands this and blatantly offers himself as their avatar, their leader, the only thing standing between them and the mob coming for them. He affirms and validates their fear and resentment and they love him for it.

    But they can’t explain it, it’s an emotional attachment that they really don’t want to examine. They can only talk about their fear in a vague way, about Chaos, things falling apart, or talking points about the trans woke immigrant menance. That’s why these Cletus Safaris are a total wankfest that allows the writer to tell a story that has nothing to do with Cletus.

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  25. Mark P said on February 23, 2024 at 1:39 am

    The entire story is bullshit, which is an entirely different problem from Trump himself, but probably nearly equally dangerous to the existence of the US as a reasonably free democracy. The stupid authors surely phoned it in. “Most politicians have to bus people in for their appearances to make the venues look full.” Oh, really? A citation, please?

    ” … the third (person they claim to have interviewed) is not sure where he stands on Trump and would like to hear what the former president has to say.” Oh, really? You believe that, you fucking moron?

    “While Saturday night’s crowd was still mostly White, we noticed it was a lot younger than in the past. A generation that came to age during the upheaval of the COVID pandemic is also looking to Trump to save it.” Oh, really? You counted the youngsters and checked ID’s, I assume, you fucking liar?

    ‘“My generation is most concerned about housing,” said Christian Armstrong, a 21-year-old Wayne County Community College District student from Detroit. “We want to be able to buy a house to get a start in the capitalist system, and we can’t.”’ Oh, really? You’ll believe anything, or at least report it, you fucking lazy twit.

    And, finally, as Nancy points out, “Rola Makki, a young woman from Livonia …” Oh, really, you fucking, lazy, lying, moronic twit?

    They did the story because they wanted to pretend they can do the big-time national stories as well, or as poorly, as the big-time national news outlets. They want to look profound, like they think the MSM reporters look. They’re pretend journalists aping the rotten institutional news media’s obsession with “telling both sides of the story”.

    But hey, there are some very fine people on both sides, and the patriots who smeared their feces around the Capitol building probably only eat organic food.

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  26. alex said on February 23, 2024 at 7:17 am

    How interesting. Mr & Mrs Mike Pence conceived through IVF

    And not through a hole in a sheet as previously suspected.

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  27. Cullen said on February 23, 2024 at 12:53 pm

    Well said, Mark P. That was my first reaction when I read this. There is no one in this country who doesn’t know exactly who the orange yam sack is or what he stands for. That entire story is made up of lazy stereotypes culled from previous reporting dating back to 2016. It’s like it was generated by AI, which I firmly believe it was.

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  28. Sherri said on February 23, 2024 at 2:13 pm

    It doesn’t matter that the Pences conceived through IVF, because as we’ve learned, for conservatives, the point is that the law protects but does not bind them, while binding but not protecting others. Conservatives don’t want women to control their reproductive lives. If they do, then, they won’t accept their lower place in the hierarchy. With IVF, women might choose to postpone childbearing until later, and take those jobs and places in society rightly due to mediocre white men.

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  29. Sherri said on February 23, 2024 at 4:23 pm

    Trump says he “strongly supports IVF.” This is, of course, nonsense. He doesn’t give a shit about IVF, any more than he gives a shit about a 16 week abortion ban. What he gives a shit about is giving some people some cover to support him, in the “see, he’s not that bad” way. In office, he’ll continue to defer to the Federalist Society to appoint judges, and they’ll keep appointing judges that will ban IVF and birth control and abortion at any time, including to save the lives of women.

    I’ve been telling people for years to pay less attention to what politicians say when they’re running for office. That’s true across the political spectrum. Look at what they have done. Look at who they surround themselves with. That tells you much more than what they say.

    I had this conversation with the head of the endorsement committee of my local Dem organization. His committee had just endorsed someone for mayor in my city, based on things she told the committee. I told him that it was just her telling them what they wanted to hear, that she had consistently not voted that way in her time on council. Fortunately, she lost, but is still on council, and sure enough, she was the lone vote on council against pursuing a permanent supportive housing project in the city. She will always say the most progressive thing, but when she has to do something, she’ll always find a reason why this particular one is not the right choice.

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  30. Sherri said on February 23, 2024 at 4:58 pm

    There are only 7 IVF clinics in Alabama. Three have now halted treatments. Let me tell you, if I were a patient in one of this clinics, and in the middle of a cycle, I’d be beyond pissed.

    IVF is a very stressful process. I could only handle doing two cycles before I quit, deciding that one child was good enough. You take drugs to shut down your normal cycle, you shoot yourself with hormones to hyperstimulate your ovaries until they’re the size of softballs (and that’s really not very comfortable!), you go in for daily blood tests to see when the eggs are ready for retrieval, and when they are, you drop everything and have a surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs. Then, a few days later, hopefully, you have some number of embryos placed in your uterus, and your partner starts shooting you with more hormones to improve the odds of implantation (these shots, at least when I did it, had to go in your butt, and were in a thick oil, so were lots of fun!)

    At least I really got the fentynal I was supposed to during the egg retrieval, unlike the poor women in the podcast The Retrievals. I had a hard time listening to that podcast, knowing how egg retrieval is done.

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  31. brian stouder said on February 23, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    Sherri – excellent essays, indeed. Your protect/bind (akin to the old ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me & sticks on you’) dichotomy effectively encapsulates the matter.

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  32. Sherri said on February 23, 2024 at 10:13 pm

    I want a lawyer in Alabama to file a habeas petition on behalf of a pre-born child whose mother is in prison. After all, if the fetus is a person with full rights, they shouldn’t be imprisoned without due process.

    Can a fetus conceived via rape be charged with breaking and entering?

    If an ectopic pregnancy can’t be treated because to do so would result in abortion of the embryo, but not treating it kills the mother, who should be charged with murder?

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  33. Deborah said on February 23, 2024 at 11:54 pm

    Sherri, ha ha, good ones.

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  34. alex said on February 24, 2024 at 7:00 am

    But I’m still an embryo
    With a long, long way to go
    Until I make Alito understand

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  35. Deborah said on February 24, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    A few too many syllables but a (an?) hysterical haiku, Alex.

    Went to Pete’s for coffee and a pastry near our hotel in San Francisco this morning, seated near a nicely causally dressed guy using his laptop quietly when a wildly, unhinged probably mentally ill or strung out on drugs (probably both) guy plopped himself down between us. The street guy was filthy and he was flinging around a stringy, dirty long haired wig. He grabbed the cup of water off the table of the casual guy’s table and the casual guy never batted an eye, didn’t even look at the street guy. When the street guy left the casual guy got up and got himself a new cup of water, completely nonplussed. My husband’s comment to me was that’s how we should behave regarding Trump, just let him rant and rave, pay no attention to him and go about our business calmly and coolly. If only.

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  36. alex said on February 24, 2024 at 1:57 pm

    Off topic, but in reading nn.c history this week (I forget which day it was), there was a lively discussion among the journos here about newsrooms putting editors on the chopping block which then sort of morphed into war stories about cub reporters turning in slipshod work.

    This came to mind when I read a piece in this morning’s paper that was so bad it’s good (and it’s copied in whole below because it’s paywalled).

    Knee-slappers include “toking the giggle smoke” and police finding a stash of meth “wedged between [the perp’s] butt cheeks.”

    Pokemon card “collector” charged with drug possession
    By Lynn Thompson Feb 21, 2024

    ANGOLA — Police arrested a Fort Wayne man Tuesday afternoon for allegedly stealing Pokemon trading cards from the Walmart on North Wayne Street, but it was the stench of marijuana that led them to methamphetamine, court records say.

    Andrew G. Wilson, 43, of the 4100 block of Reed Street, Fort Wayne, was charged with misdemeanor refusal to identify himself , Level 6 meth possession and possession of a hypodermic syringe and misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

    The probable cause affidavit filed in Steuben County courts states that police initially responded to a shop lifting complaint from the store’s asset protection staff, regarding a couple in the toy section. Officers apprehended the pair at the exit after they had passed all points of sale and each reportedly surrendered several packs of cards.

    Wilson initially identified himself as Anthony G. Webb.

    He said he not smoked marijuana “in a very long time” but his girlfriend’s parents were toking the giggle smoke during their last visit.

    She was twirling her keys during the interview and when Angola Police K9 Diego searched her vehicle he found four joints, two of which were already burnt, a bundle of hypodermic syringes, a glass pipe and three boxes of Pokemon trading cards with a box of protective sleeves.

    Wilson, still calling himself Webb, said all that stuff was his but the damage was done. When his girlfriend got into a different police cruiser she gave officers his real name and said they’d stolen the other boxes from the Meijer on Illinois Road in Fort Wayne. The National Crime Information Center reported he had outstanding warrants in Allen County.

    Police released the female, with charges pending further investigation, and transported Wilson to the Steuben County Jail. During his pat down, a confinement officer found one baggie of meth in his clothes and another “wedged between his butt cheeks.”

    If convicted, Wilson could face a maximum 2 1/2 years in prison with a $10,000 fine for each felony offense.

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  37. Sherri said on February 24, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    We found the limits of Joe Manchin’s ego; he said this week he would not be a third party candidate for president. Evidently Dick Gephardt convinced him that all he would do as the No Labels candidate was hand the election to Trump, and Manchin didn’t want to do that.

    No Labels hasn’t totally gone away yet, though. I don’t disagree that we need a new political party, but I think the way to go about it is to actually stand for something and build around that, and centrism is not something you build around. For one thing, center of what? I mean, the center of SCOTUS ideologically is now Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, basically the nicer, less crazy version of Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas. They might save you from some things, but you can’t count on them.

    No Labels may still find some rich guy with an ego, or Kristen Sinema, but if they mean what they’ve said about not wanting to hand the election to Trump, they should just shut up and go away.

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  38. David C said on February 24, 2024 at 3:37 pm

    This is how Chat GPT says the NY Times would have written it. I must say, I like the Fort Wayne one better.

    A Fort Wayne man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly stealing Pokémon trading cards from the Walmart on North Wayne Street, but it was the odor of marijuana that ultimately led to the discovery of methamphetamine, according to court records.

    Andrew G. Wilson, 43, of the 4100 block of Reed Street, Fort Wayne, faces charges including misdemeanor refusal to identify himself, Level 6 methamphetamine possession, possession of a hypodermic syringe, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Police were initially called to the store in response to a shoplifting complaint from the asset protection staff, who had observed a couple in the toy section. The pair was apprehended at the exit after bypassing all points of sale, with each surrendering several packs of cards.

    During the arrest, Wilson initially identified himself as Anthony G. Webb. He claimed he had not smoked marijuana “in a very long time,” but mentioned that his girlfriend’s parents had used it during their last visit.

    Subsequent investigations revealed that the female suspect possessed drug paraphernalia and marijuana in her vehicle. She was released pending further investigation, while Wilson, still identifying himself as Webb, was transported to the Steuben County Jail. A search during intake revealed methamphetamine hidden in his clothing and between his buttocks.

    Wilson, if convicted, could face a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each felony offense.

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  39. Sherri said on February 24, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve been thinking about campaign finance law, since Trump is putting his daughter-in-law in charge of the RNC, presumably so he can drain all that money for his legal fees.

    The FEC, the regulatory body in charge of campaign finance, has been neutered for years by not having a full complement and instead stuck in partisan deadlock. So nothing happens there. For whatever reason, Merrick Garland is ultra cautious about charging campaign finance violations in the DOJ, so the Stormy Daniels case, where Trump used campaign funds to pay her off back in 2016, is just now coming up in state court. Not clear how that will play out.

    Meanwhile, evidently the Trump campaign has stopped giving refunds. If you max out to a candidate, candidates don’t stop asking for money, and you may forget that you’ve maxed out and give them more money. They’re supposed to refund that extra money. This is money to the candidate, not to PACs. I’ve had this happen; campaigns have treasurers whose job it is to keep track of this.

    The Trump campaign has just stopped doing it. The accounting trick they’re doing is to take the extra money and credit it to someone else who hasn’t maxed out. To me, that seems like a straw donation, which is explicitly illegal, but as we all know, Trump’s approach to legal matters is, catch me if you can. The FEC won’t do anything, and if he wins, we know he won’t be charged, and probably not even if he loses, so why not just keep the money?

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  40. susan said on February 24, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    Alex, no one can top a local cub-reporter who tries to make every story about criming into a noir novella. A few years back, I sent a note to his (presumed) boss, that they shell out some bucks and send this guy to journalism school. Here is a recent example, although there are so many others…Oh which one to choose!

    Arrests made in Lind following crossbow assault incident and vehicle recovery

    Source ONE News staff Feb 23, 2024

    LIND – Adams County deputies were drawn into a situation that escalated from a stolen vehicle report to an alarming assault involving a crossbow on Thursday in Lind.

    The day’s events began with deputies responding to a call regarding a stolen vehicle. The investigation consumed the better part of their day as they meticulously worked through the leads. However, the situation took a dramatic turn around 7:30 PM when authorities were alerted to a distressing incident in the 300 block of W 2nd Street.

    The caller reported an allegation against 54-year-old David Scott Douglas of Lind, claiming he had discharged a crossbow, launching an arrow in their direction. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies were able to confirm the caller’s report, finding evidence that supported the serious allegations.

    While investigating the crossbow incident, deputies also located the previously reported stolen vehicle on the property. This discovery led to the arrest of 36-year-old Ashley Lovonne Hendrickson of Lind, who was suspected of possessing the stolen motor vehicle. Hendrickson was quickly taken into custody, and the vehicle was secured pending further investigation.

    The search for Douglas took a deceptive turn when deputies encountered 46-year-old Sabrina Marie Myers of Washtucna at his residence. Myers initially misled officers, claiming she was the sole occupant and denying any knowledge of Douglas’s whereabouts. However, persistence paid off, and Douglas eventually emerged from the location Myers had initially denied him being, leading to his surrender.

    Myers was arrested on suspicion of making false and misleading statements to a law enforcement officer. Douglas, the central figure in the crossbow assault, was arrested on charges of Assault 1st Degree (Domestic Violence) and was subsequently booked into jail.


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  41. Suzanne said on February 24, 2024 at 6:38 pm

    This is how the how the rabid pro-lifers view those eggs. Snowflake babies.

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  42. Sherri said on February 24, 2024 at 7:02 pm

    I think it’s funny that the people who think that embryos are children to be adopted, not property, also tend to think their children are property with no rights of their own.

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  43. Sherri said on February 24, 2024 at 11:31 pm

    I’ve now seen two pundits, at least, calling for a brokered Democratic convention. They’re obviously nuts. Neither of them are old enough to remember 1968, though they are aware that that convention is why the Dems changed how they choose their nominee. But everyone should remember the 2016 convention, when Bernie was really less than gracious about the process of telling his delegates to back Hillary, and in that tight race, that certainly didn’t help her.

    So they really believe that walking into a convention mere months before the general election with no candidate will result in everyone coming together behind a stronger candidate than a sitting President? Where’s this (presumably white) savior going to come from, and what makes you think black people will turn out for him?

    I know it’s hard to fill a column all the time, but maybe it would be easier if you spent less time on the fucking horse race!

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  44. alex said on February 25, 2024 at 9:54 am

    Good heavens, Susan. Nobody should be that green after spending years on the job. For the most part, our local papers do a much better job than the example I posted above, which is why it struck me as so odd. But I’m seeing more and more evidence of editors asleep at the wheel, or perhaps simply absent altogether. It’s nothing egregious enough to make me want to quit subscribing, and I’m trying to support local journalism and strongly believe in its importance, but sheesh.

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  45. David C said on February 25, 2024 at 10:02 am

    I’m wondering now if tRump even makes it to the convention and the Rs will be the party with the brokered convention. I’m sure Fox is going with “Trump wins overwhelming victory in South Carolina primary”. But for someone who is essentially running as an incumbent his showing was piss poor. Incumbents win 95%-ish victories as Biden is. As much as the MSM wants a horse race, they’re going to have to start covering his out-to-lunch ramblings. My mom has Alzheimer’s and she can put together a more coherent sentence than he can. It may not happen but a boy can wish. In a Republican brokered convention they’d likely get the civil war they want so badly. All we’d have to do is sit back, make popcorn, and laugh.

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  46. Deborah said on February 25, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    Here’s a gift article for you from the NYT, an interview with a sociopath that definitely reminds me of Trump but also Melania

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  47. LAMary said on February 25, 2024 at 1:41 pm

    I knew a sociopath in college. I was one of four students who worked very hard to start a college radio station. We got approvals, licenses, funding. Then when we were ready to go it looked like about 5g was missing. One guy had spent it on clothes, restaurants, trips to Vegas. He got arrested. My one conversation with him before he went to his hearing started with him grinning and saying, “I sure had a great time! You should have come along.” He saw nothing wrong with what he had done. I walked away.

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  48. LAMary said on February 25, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    On another note, I tested negative this morning. No more covid. Still have the nasty taste in my mouth from the paxlovid but the covid never got worse than a bad cold.

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  49. jcburns said on February 25, 2024 at 2:22 pm

    I think you’re sposed to keep taking the Paxlovid even if you get a negative test. So…cheers?

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  50. brian stouder said on February 25, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    Excellent news, Mary! Sickest I ever was, a few decades back, was a bout with mononucleosis. Definitely knocked me off my pins, for about 2 weeks

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  51. alex said on February 25, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    I feel as if I’ve known more than my fair share of sociopaths in this lifetime and several of these were from my college years. I doubt any of them ever got the same kind of handle on it that the author of that book claims to have achieved — and she’s a psychotherapist, for Chrissake — but a common thread was theft and embezzlement. These folks knew how to ingratiate themselves with others before figuratively knifing them in the back and seemed as if they were just doing it for sport.

    Another good read in the Times today (which I’m gifting) was the article on “habituation.” I think it applies to our current zeitgeist and the normalization/resignation that so many of us are feeling with regard to our bonkers politics.

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  52. ROGirl said on February 25, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve been listening to a podcast called “Things Fell Apart” about the origins of today’s culture wars by a British journalist named Jon Ronson. It’s pretty pretty good.

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  53. Suzanne said on February 25, 2024 at 5:43 pm

    What episode of that podcast are you listening to ROGirl? It sounds interesting.

    I am not sure what I think about the article on sociopathy. I kind of get what the woman is saying but then again, what is love? How does she define it? How does she know when she feels it? It seems like she is saying that everything she does, she does only for its benefit to herself. Like she took care of her newborn because it needed to be done, not out of any intrinsic love for her own child. Now she thinks her son is a great kid but is that only because he makes her look like a good mom?

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  54. ROGirl said on February 25, 2024 at 6:15 pm

    There are 2 seasons so far and I have listened to the first season. Each episode is self-contained, but together they provide a contextual basis for a lot of the divisive issues in the world today.

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  55. LAMary said on February 25, 2024 at 7:31 pm

    I took the full series of paxlovid, twice a day for five days. I know enough docs and nurses to know to follow the instructions on the prescription. I had my last dose this morning. BTW, it’s covered if you have medicare but if not you are really SOL. A scrip cosxts 1200-1400 bucks.

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