Let’s clear the wires.

Back when wire-service copy arrived in newsrooms via chugging teletype machines — a great white-noise generator that someone should make a sleep-sound loop for, and probably has — it was the wire editor’s job to gather it all up, read it, sort it, and bring it to the attention of various departments. This practice was known as “clearing the wire,” and that’s what today’s blog is. Stay tuned for wire-service humor at the end.

This story that broke over the weekend probably didn’t travel much beyond the Great Lakes, but it certainly caught my interest: A 700-foot ore freighter, the Michipicoten, reported it “struck something underwater” on Saturday, about 45 miles south of Isle Royale in northern Lake Superior, and began taking on water. Disaster was averted — it was able to pump out enough to mitigate the 15-degree list and limp into port, to use a journalese phrase I’ve been waiting my whole career to deploy. The port was Thunder Bay, Ontario, if you’re interested.

It was the “struck something underwater” that caught my eye, as they were in some of the deepest water in North America at the time, far from any shoals or suchlike. What could an ore carrier possibly collide with to penetrate a steel hull? Short of a submarine or maybe a freshwater Godzilla, hard to imagine. But I did so all weekend.

The investigation is only getting started, but the cause is looking clearer — the hull just cracked, opening a 13-foot-long seam. A stress fracture, basically.

Disappointing. I was hoping for Godzilla.

Nothing truly ground-breaking in this next item, but it caught my eye: Axios reports that Ancestry.com is using AI to find old newspaper stories with news about enslaved individuals, and the institution itself, to help black families find their family histories. This is the part that grabbed me:

Charles Nalle, of course. Charles Nall was my father’s name, is my brother’s name. I’m aware that slaves were generally named for the families that held them in bondage, so no, I’m not claiming blackness for myself. A genealogist who found me via this blog, years ago, had traced the entire family tree and said we went back to a single ancestor, whose name was (I think) John Nall, and who immigrated from England to Virginia. Dunno about the Nalle family; could be an entirely different outfit, or a shirttail relation to ours. Still think it’s interesting.

Some of you may recall my friend Nathan Gotsch, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress as an independent in our old district in Indiana year before last. He’s now dedicated to covering local politics on a Substack newsletter, in part because virtually every media outlet in town no longer does. His latest entry, about a religious lunatic in the running to be lieutenant governor, shows that the Hoosier state will never run out of right-wing idiots. Here’s this one, Micah Beckwith, on Covid:

“I wish we would have had a check and balance [on the governor] in 2020,” he told the delegates in Nappanee. “Because I have family members that are dead today because they took their own lives. Because they were locked in their house. And they felt that they could not go out of their house because the government was giving them an unconstitutional order.”

Beckwith later admitted to me that only one family member — a cousin — died, and she did not live in Indiana. Citing privacy concerns, he declined to provide any further details.

Since COVID vaccines became available in 2021, Beckwith told both groups he has written “over 4,500 religious exemptions for people in Indiana” who did not want to get vaccinated.

He also said he was firmly against masking. “The masks were more than just masks. There was the demonic assault trying to cover up both physically and spiritually the voice of God’s people.”

So, another lying sack of shit speaking for God. I’m reminded, again, of Max von Sydow’s line in “Hannah and Her Sisters:” “If Jesus came back and saw what’s going on in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”

Finally, the jaw-dropper of the week is from The New Yorker, about how Kanye West — or whatever the fuck he’s calling himself these days — bought (for $57 million) a Tadao Ando house in Malibu and destroyed it. Tadao Ando, if you aren’t up on your architecture figures, is a Japanese architect who doesn’t work a lot, but what he does is considered art even before you move your furniture in and tack the “home sweet home” sampler in the foyer. West admired Ando, and coveted a house designed by him. But, the story says, he “didn’t like the interior.” So he destroyed it.

The New Yorker allows for one or two freebies for non-subscribers, but even if you’ve already limited out, you can probably see the drone video of the house at the top of the story (although only on laptop/desktops; my phone didn’t show it). It’s horrifying, and the descriptions of the house before West took possession will break your heart:

Saxon [a construction worker hired to do the early demo work] was let into the Malibu Road house by Bianca Censori, the woman who had texted him; she was in her twenties. The house is a box partially embedded in the continent’s last, low step of land. The structure then stretches over the sand, propped up by four pillars at about the high-tide mark. (The beach here is narrow.) Although the house appears from the street to be two stories, the front door is on the middle of three floors—the main floor. A short corridor leads from the gallery to an open living area where the house delivers its vast, binary view of sky and ocean, through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Censori mentioned that the house, which was empty of furnishings, had a new owner, but she didn’t name him. A few other people were around; they had ladders and tools. One or two were identified as co-workers of Censori’s and, like her, were dressed all in black. Others, like Saxon, had been summoned that day. Walking around, Saxon registered bathroom walls lined in marble—“gorgeous black-and-white marble, like something in a New York hotel in the nineteen-twenties,” he told me—and custom wooden cabinetry that, he estimated, had cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Downstairs, the ceilings were lower than on the main floor. Three rooms, each with a little bathroom, had ocean views. There was also a laundry, and a room where Saxon saw devices that controlled the house’s heating and other systems. On the upper floor, two extravagantly wide staircases—more suggestive of a college library than of a beach house—descended to the main floor. One staircase was inside, one was outside: they ran alongside each other, separated by a wall built partly of glass. At the bottom of the outdoor staircase was a courtyard with a fire pit. At the top was a concrete hot tub. The top floor was mostly terrace, with the primary bedroom opening onto it. [Previous owner] Sachs once kept a sculpture of the Incredible Hulk, by Jeff Koons, midway up the indoor staircase. In this area, Saxon noticed, Censori’s black-clad colleagues were doing something involving large blocks of foam. He remembered being told that they were turning the stairs into a slide.

First he tore out all the custom wooden cabinetry, then the marble baths, then all those glass walls, and on and on it went, all on West’s orders, as the rapper pursued something he seemed to consider the absolute purity of minimalist design, but is more likely the result of West being an unmedicated manic depressive who seems to be mostly manic, most of the time. When the glass and tile and wood was gone, they tore out plumbing, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the HVAC systems and even electricity, all without permits; Saxon tried to hide the porta-potties brought in when the toilets were brought out. In this sense, at the end it resembled a scrapped-out Detroit ‘bando, only one that started out costing $57 million.

After West essentially set fire to his net worth — not with the house, but by being dropped by Adidas for praising Hitler, etc. — he put the destroyed shell on the market for $39 million. And he has married Bianca Censori. When the two go out on the town, she is frequently as nude as public-decency laws allow, or maybe they don’t — the last pic I saw of her she was wearing a tiny G-string and a clear plastic coat, and that’s all.

Now for the wire-service humor: I have told this story before, but the search engine tells me it was in 2006, so let’s roll it out again. On Fridays, when little news was breaking and most Sunday papers were already pretty much done, the wires used to move fillers, the little one-sentence not-stories that used to fill out columns that came up short. The two I remember most vividly were one about a Matisse painting that was mistakenly hung upside-down and the error not discovered for some years. Headline: Matisse hung wrong. Another read, in its entirety: Jaguars are afraid of dogs. Headline: Jaguars fear dogs. Newspapers used to be fun places to work.

OK, then. The heat is coming — supposed to be 90s by this weekend. Summer is fully here.

Posted at 11:57 am in Current events |

73 responses to “Let’s clear the wires.”

  1. Sherri said on June 11, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    I put this on the last thread, only to see the new post.

    Our most prominent vexillophile, Martha Ann, is barely restraining herself from responding to all those Pride flags she’s forced to endure this month with flags of her own, according to recordings captured by someone posing as a fellow traveler. She wants to fly the Sacred Heart of Jesus flag, which according to tradflags.com, is the June flag for your counter revolutionary tradCath. Martha Ann also has in mind a design of her own with “Vergogna”, the Italian word for shame, prominently featured. You’d think a good tradCath might go for Latin rather than Italian, but I can’t penetrate the good Martha Ann’s brain.


    I just want to know: are Martha Ann and Ginni friends? I bet Martha Ann thinks that Ginni is too showy.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on June 11, 2024 at 12:18 pm

    Hunter Biden is guilty on all counts. There will be much rejoicing among the MAGAts. And Joe says an emphatic NO to a pardon. He’s so much better a human than that orange yam.

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  3. 4dbirds said on June 11, 2024 at 12:44 pm

    When I heard about the ship hitting something in one of the Great Lakes, I immediately thought of you folks in the Mid-West. Just normal metal fatigue? How boring.

    I’ve found myself in a TikTok bubble. At first my feed was puppies, kittens, miniature goats, horses and donkeys. Later, I found myself enjoying the antics of ground crew for fighter jets, a guy who is always doing hand stands and a couple who cleverly recreate real historical murder situations. I don’t know why but now I am getting bombarded by Trump people doing ‘lives’. I hate ‘lives’. I think they are a used by lazy content creators. They go live, get some friends on the live and they all yell at anyone coming in for Biden. I block at least twenty a day. I so hope this onslaught doesn’t reflect real life and these people are still 40% of the electorate.

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  4. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 12:45 pm

    Micah Beckwith was one of the nutters behind Pence’s walked-back law permitting discrimination on religious grounds back when Pence was governor. When Beckwith would appear on TV he would set off my gaydar a magnitude louder than Liberace. I’m not kidding. He has to be the most stereotypically gay homophobe that ever walked the face of the earth.

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  5. FDChief said on June 11, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    A log seemed like a likely Godzilla…do you have them in the Lakes? They’re not unheard of off the Pacific NW coast, and can float almost submerged until they’re rammed. But guess not…

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  6. Icarus said on June 11, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    4dbirds @3: My wife has noticed the same thing in her TikTok feeds. It’s very likely someone is paying to make that happen.

    Jeff Borden @ 2: We know if it were Trump’s son and he got re-elected, that would be one of the first pardon’s he issues. Or maybe not. He’ probably hold it over the kids head for a little while.

    The cognitive disconnect that Biden’s trial was fair and just, but Trump’s wasn’t is just unbelievable.

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  7. nancy said on June 11, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    Alan said a log, too, but this is a freighter we’re talking about. I doubt any log could penetrate that hull, unless it was fired from a cannon.

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  8. Deborah said on June 11, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    This is the first I’m hearing of the Biden verdict. Not surprised, it seemed like an open and shut case of guilty to me. That’s sad though because the guy obviously has a disease that hit him hard. The fact that the right wing are gloating about it is also not surprising. What else have they got? Will it change votes for Biden? I doubt it.

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  9. Jeff Gill said on June 11, 2024 at 1:55 pm

    “Don Jr. opened the [dorm room] door, wearing a Yankee jersey. Without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said ‘put on a suit and meet me outside,’ and closed the door.”


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  10. David C said on June 11, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    I heard about Trump smacking Jr. for not wearing a suit to a baseball game. Who the hell wears a suit to a baseball game. It is the fucking Yankees with their clean shaves and short back and sides like they’re stock brokers because Steinbrenner was the second or third rated asshole in New York depending on how you rate Guiliani.

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  11. Sherri said on June 11, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    I know there are too many things to subscribe to these days, and many of them are expensive, but I want to put in a plug for Slate Plus purely because you get the bonus Amicus podcasts with Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern. The latest one dives into the ridiculous lawsuit filed by two University of Texas professors who want to be able to penalize students who miss class to leave the state to get an abortion. I’ve read coverage of the case, but no one else connected the dots between this case and the architect of SB 8, Joseph Mitchell, Stephen Miller, Judge Matthew Kaczmaryk, and the Comstock Act, to show what’s really happening here: not just two asshole professors, but part of a process to get the Comstock Act in use so it can be further used to target mail order prescriptions.

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  12. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve got Slate Plus too. This will be one expensive news diet if I’m not eating.

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  13. nancy said on June 11, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    While casually googling “was marla maples an escort?” I came across this photo of the two of them at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in 1991. Late August in New York, probably hot as blazes, and there Trump sits in a fucking suit. His tie is yanked loose, collar unbuttoned, no sunglasses and he looks miserable, as he deserves to be. He knows how to dress for two places: His office and the golf course, but even golf attire would look better than a $3,000 suit in the baking sun. What a tiny, pathetic, insecure man. Nixon wore a suit to the beach. But Nixon was a far better person than this sack of shit.

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  14. Deborah said on June 11, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    I lost respect for the architect Tadao Ando many years ago when I heard about his bouts of anger when things didn’t go his way. He punched people in the face when they didn’t perform the way he wished. I guess he’s a perfectionist but that kind of behavior is disgusting. I don’t think much of Kanye West either so they were made for each other.

    Ando’s buildings seem very elegant, I’ve been to two of them, one is the Pulitzer art museum in St. Louis and the other is the Contemporary art museum in Fort Worth. The St. Louis one is fantastic but the Fort Worth one is forgettable IMHO. That one is near the Kimball art museum in Fort Worth which is a masterpiece by Louis Kahn, Ando’s can’t possibly live up to Kahn’s.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on June 11, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    I read somewhere tRump wears Brioni suits, which breaks my heart if true. If I’d ever made it big financially, my first trip would be to Milan for a bespoke Brioni.

    But tRump’s suits are so badly tailored it must be intentional. They’re cut to camouflage his considerable girth. Interesting he never wears pinstripe suits, which some portly men believe has a slimming effect. Instead, he wears his neckties at a ridiculous length, thinking it slims him. It doesn’t.

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  16. alex said on June 11, 2024 at 7:14 pm

    If his lawyers and advisors can’t tell him anything, no doubt there’s no one who can tell him how to dress either, and that’s why his signature style is so cray-cray, especially the bird’s nest on his balding pate. Although the orange reverse-raccoon makeup is a close second.

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  17. Brandon said on June 11, 2024 at 7:58 pm

    Genshiro Kawamoto, in his own way far more eccentric than Ye.

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  18. Brandon said on June 11, 2024 at 9:50 pm

    Interesting he never wears pinstripe suits

    Maybe not now, but he did in that photo from the 1991 U.S. Open.

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  19. Jason T. said on June 11, 2024 at 11:24 pm

    I always had the habit of “clearing the wire” before leaving the building at any newspaper or radio job I had. But one Saturday morning, when I was doing the early shift at a radio station, I was in a hurry to meet someone for lunch. I handed over to the incoming DJ and didn’t bother to check the AP machine.

    I got to my car, started the engine, and the local NPR affiliate came on the radio; but instead of “Car Talk,” I heard the network discussing the space shuttle exploding. Well, that’s odd, I thought. It must be an anniversary of the Challenger disaster, but why are they interrupting regular programs?

    I put the car in gear and started to drive, and it took another 30 seconds for the light to finally go on in my brain. Then I parked the car and literally ran back to the station to learn from the AP wire that the Columbia had broken up on re-entry.

    That, kids, is why we never, ever leave without clearing the wire.

    Ah, but none of the stations I’m currently working for even have an AP wire any more. At the last station I was told it’s too expensive, and “no one wants to hear news anyway.”

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  20. alex said on June 12, 2024 at 8:29 am

    Giving myself a mini vacay for the rest of the week. My husband is working in Chicago all week, so today I’m going to join him and take a break from toxic media, catch up with friends, go sightseeing and shopping and log some steps on the iPhone. One of the things I miss about living there was walking everywhere and being relatively fit.

    A friend wants to take me to see the 1933 World’s Fair Homes of the Future, which I haven’t seen in 30 or 40 years and barely remember at this point. It’s in the Dunes National Park, a collection of fabulous art deco buildings which I think used to be privately owned but were more recently taken over by the park. And of course we’ll have to visit Redamak’s for burgers for old times’ sake.

    Time to close the house up and start packing.

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  21. robert said on June 12, 2024 at 8:57 am

    re: crimes against architecture – went to the NYKR link, but couldn’t finish the article due to disgust.

    2 observations:
    1) Bianca Censori bears a strong resemblance to Kim K; and
    2) if West and tRump weren’t rich, they’d have been institutionalized long ago

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  22. Heather said on June 12, 2024 at 11:06 am

    I see a lot of those live Trumpers on TikTok too. It’s just bait at this point.

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  23. Sherri said on June 12, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    Remember that great-nephew that Clarence Thomas supposedly took in and raised? Well, when he started to take up too much time, Thomas shipped him off to boarding schools on Harlan Crow’s dime, and when even that didn’t solve the problem of him taking too much time, good old Clarence just dumped him back on his mother and washed his hands off him and walked away.

    Bush nominating this man to SCOTUS to replace Thurgood Marshall was a disgrace, even before Anita Hill told her story.


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  24. Jeff Gill said on June 13, 2024 at 8:12 am

    If you find politics of interest, French politics are completely lit up; Macron called a snap election, and the coalitions are fragmenting & recombining between & within the existing parties at a shocking rate. I couldn’t begin to sum it up (I’ve been following the Southern Baptists closely the last two days, and a close friend’s retirement after almost 30 years directing a program she I helped found in 1992), but some hunting around online will help you get informed and/or further confused. I barely follow written French, but Google Translate will help. US media are barely noticing, but since the D-Day events wrapped the whole country has been politically in a whirl, and it sets up some interesting tensions as we head into the Paris Olympics, at which point I suspect at least NBC/MSNBC will have to start paying attention.

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  25. Jeff Gill said on June 13, 2024 at 8:56 am

    This’ll do: gift link.


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  26. Jeff Borden said on June 13, 2024 at 9:24 am

    I’ve not followed the SBC gathering closely, but noted they still won’t allow women pastors and are firmly against IVF. They’re moving toward an embrace of fetal personhood.

    In the same newspaper carrying that story is another about the rapid rise in young women abandoning their churches…at a much higher level than young men. Gosh, I wonder why?

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  27. FDChief said on June 13, 2024 at 10:25 am

    Some of the “logs” that turn up in the NE Pacific can be pretty huge. My understanding is that these things (they’re called “deadheads”) aren’t usually a hazard to steel hulls, but I could see one providing just enough additional force to a poor weld or thinned plate that it might set off the failure. In bad weather it’d be damn near impossible to tell from a spontaneous hull breach, tho…

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  28. FDChief said on June 13, 2024 at 10:42 am

    Thomas Edsall has an opinion piece at the NYT (no link because paywall…) where he describes how utterly fucked we are because a “…sizable chunk of voters who don’t like the way Trump handles himself personally are backing him anyway, and it’s primarily to oppose Biden.”.

    Apparently “Among these Trump “dislikers,” 28 percent are currently voting for him or leaning his way. That includes 85 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of independents who dislike him…They are disproportionately Trump’s female and college-educated backers. They also identify as moderate at higher rates than “likers,”…They are also likelier to describe the charges related to the events of Jan. 6 that Trump tried to overturn after the 2020 election as serious…Most don’t want Trump to have more presidential power if re-elected, and in contrast to most of his likers, don’t want him to use the criminal justice system to get revenge against his political opponents.

    All of which is brain-damage-level idiotic. Tubby has said repeatedly that he’ll be a dictator on Day One, use his power more and more viciously, and will be all in on J6 traitors.

    What the hell can you do with people this stupid?

    To quote Paul Campos as LG&M: “Democracy is defensible to the extent that an electorate is at least minimally politically engaged and non-delusional. If elections are decided by swing voters, as essentially all national elections now are, and swing voters are this ignorant and irrational, that seems like a fundamental indictment of the entire system.”

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  29. Dexter Friend said on June 13, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    I could not imagine what the freighter may have collided with. The hundreds of shipwrecks on the bottom of Gitche Gumee ain’t breaking loose and floating to the surface.

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  30. tajalli said on June 13, 2024 at 2:05 pm

    Rather off-topic, but this announcement came in the mail and I thought the motorheads here might enjoy Dr Chuck Severance of the University of Michigan doing a youtube live on Monday June 17 9am ET on using AI to help fix cars.

    “I will be doing a live YouTube stream June 17 @ 9AM Eastern US and you are welcome to attend – here is the URL that is counting down to the event:


    “The event is two hours long. During the first 35 minutes I will make a presentation titled:

    “My auto racing hobby and using GenAI to help fix automobiles

    “As some of you may know, I race cars as a hobby in a racing series called the “24 Hours of Lemons” which is mostly for fun and not to serious. We are serious about driving fast and driving well – but not too worried about “winning”. I will talk about the cars that we have built and raced – what it is like to prepare and repair our race cars and what we do at the race track. And if you are really interested, we will be racing in Joliet, Illinois in July – and the races are open to the public so you can stop by.

    “After 35 minutes or so – we will just do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for the rest of the two hour time period.”

    He teaches history of the internet on Coursera, which is how I came to know him, and is a real character.

    He’ll be doing a similar youtube live on using AI to develop airplane flight plans as the following event, for airplane afficianados.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on June 13, 2024 at 2:27 pm

    Color me flabbergasted. SCOTUS unanimously decided not to ban the abortion drug. Even Clarence and Strip Search Sammy voted against it.

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  32. Sherri said on June 13, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    They denied the case on standing. They do occasionally turn down the wingnuts for being so stupid they’d make them look like idiots if they agreed with them. Kaczmaryk and the 5th Circuit are happy to look like idiots, but Strip Search Sammy and Clarence can’t get Roberts and Kavanaugh and The Handmaiden to go along with them if the case is too ridiculous.

    The plaintiffs concocted an impossible scenario under which they might suffer some insignificant harm. The Conservative YOLO’s don’t mind cherry-picking facts if need be, but there has to be something there to pick.

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  33. David C said on June 13, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    I forget what SCOTUS did last year but I’m sure they released a good ruling early. Then they fed us shit sandwiches until the end of the term.

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  34. Sherri said on June 13, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern on the mifespristone decision.


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  35. Dexter Friend said on June 13, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    Josh Shapiro is a really great guy; he’s the governor of Pennsylvania. He had a great segment with Nicole Wallace today, telling how we must spread the word to those who don’t really know what chaos in in store if Trump prevails. He commented on Trump’s trashing of Milwaukee, too. Trump called Milwaukee a bad city. Crime and all. But Trump loses Wisconsin, he loses the election, likely.
    Trump’s return to D.C. today saw irony personified; Trump was guarded by Capitol police behind the Secret Service cadre. Former never-Trumpers licking the boots of the pussy grabber, that adjudicated rapist, that liar, that 34 times felon. The USA is all fucked-up alright (as Trump repeats daily), but only because so many misinformed miscreants want this monster back to finish the job of tearing down the USA as we know it.

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  36. Mark P said on June 13, 2024 at 7:33 pm

    In this election, as in the 2020 election, there are Trump supporters and Biden supporters. Plus, of course, bullshitters. There are no undecided voters, there are no voters who might have voted Democratic if not for Biden.

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  37. brian stouder said on June 13, 2024 at 8:17 pm

    It is a funny world, indeed. My self-justifying impulse is to say that Republicans had the better part of the argument 40 years ago, and that’s why I was a Reagan voter and a ‘conservative’. (btw, I will concede that, in hindsight, we’d have been just fine had he never won). For me, President Obama marks the paradigm-shift; and indeed, (from my point of view) they (the Democratic Party) became really the ONLY serious choice at the national level.

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  38. Deborah said on June 13, 2024 at 10:01 pm

    Today I had my second sighting of a cyber truck in the wild, the first one I saw in Chicago before I came to NM, but today LB and I saw one in Santa Fe. Yuck, really ugly, nothing elegant at all about it. It looks ridiculous. Completely cluncky.

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  39. Suzanne said on June 14, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Brian, that pretty much mirrors my trajectory. It began with Gingrich who preached morality but didn’t have any moral standards and came to a head when I saw the vitriol spewed at the Obamas who embodied the belief in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps that Conservatives loved to blather about. Here was a couple that lived the American Dream that we were all supposed to chase and the right hated them.
    Now, the right scares the hell out of me. They are full on Christofascists and we will be a theocracy in short order.

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  40. alex said on June 14, 2024 at 10:20 am

    So Ann Altright, er, Althouse claims the shark and battery story is a comic riff from the talented entertainer Donald Trump and that it’s being contorted by the media to help Biden. That cynical bitch has the Q-Anoners eating out of her ass and sending her money.

    The right’s hatred of the Obamas betrays their insincerity about upstanding morals and pulling up your own bootstraps. Preaching about those things only serves their purpose when they can flog Black people with it for coming up short. At this point they’ve pretty much given up this pretext and are fearless in tipping their hand.

    Having lots of good discussions while visiting Chicago this week. I once sought refuge here from Red State politics when I was young and broke. I’d hate to have to do it all over again now that I’m old and retired on an income that wouldn’t stretch as far, but it does cross my mind.

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  41. David C said on June 14, 2024 at 10:29 am

    First bite of the shit sandwich.


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  42. MarkH said on June 14, 2024 at 10:50 am

    We have one of those Tesla cyber “trucks” here. Or, so I thought. Turns out there are three. “Hey, look at me! And, how much money I’ve got to waste!”.

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  43. Suzanne said on June 14, 2024 at 11:17 am

    This is a great statement on the cyber truck


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  44. FDChief said on June 14, 2024 at 11:27 am

    The “bump-stock” thing is just one more bit of infuriating ammosexual fetish object nonsense. It turns a semiautomatic rifle into an fully automatic rifle. Period. That’s ALL it does, that’s the only reason for it.

    And not only is there no legitimate – fuck, there’s no SANE – reason for randos to have a fully automatic rifle, the Army doesn’t think there’s a good reason for most soldiers to have one, either!

    The M16A2 – fielded damn near 40 years ago – replaced the auto setting of the selector lever with a three-round burst because Joe and Molly can’t hit shit on full auto. The guys with the M249 and 240-Bravo have all the auto fire the squad needs.

    These damn “conservatives” are determined to turn the Constitution into an actual suicide pact.

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  45. David C said on June 14, 2024 at 11:53 am

    Cybertruck drivers will be the Google glassholes of 2024. Comparing it to a minivan is brilliant. Tesla takes simple stuff and complicates it for no reason than Elmo thought it was neat when he was high on whatever drug he’s taking.

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  46. tajalli said on June 14, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    The Cyber trucks look like some kid made it in 8th grade metal shop.

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  47. Mark P said on June 14, 2024 at 12:30 pm

    Cyber truck — The emperor’s new truck.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on June 14, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    Heeeyyyyy! Stop dissing minivans! I had two of them and loved them for hauling kids and teammates, going on trips, moving kids, being the driver whenever a group was going out together. They were great.

    But I agree the cybertruck is fugly. And I don’t know how anyone sees out.

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  49. David C said on June 14, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    Oh, I’m pro minivan. They do most everything better than an SUV and a lot of things better than pickup trucks. I was proud of my under 30, first time parent, supervisor at work trading in his Jeep Cherokee for a Honda Odyssey. I don’t understand Americans hating on minivans and station wagons. They’re two of the most useful vehicles around. I drive an Outback and Subaru has to pretend they’re SUVs instead of station wagons. It’s nuts.

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  50. Dexter Friend said on June 14, 2024 at 2:17 pm

    I had a new Pinto wagon 50 years ago, and several Country Squire wagons over the years. I had all kinds of other cars and trucks too, but the wagons were the best utility vehicles. The Pinto only got like 24 mpg and the heavy wagons only got like 12 mpg, which killed them around 1974 when gas pricing went haywire. The first minivan I drove was in 1986 when Ford got into the market with the Aerostar, which I rented for a trip to Grand Haven. I loved it. Eventually I bought Chevrolet, Chrysler and Honda minivans. Yes, my favorite vehicles. My 4 VW Microbuses were basically minivans, too. The worst was the Chevy Astro van, the best was the Honda I still have. We have a cyber truck here in town…owner unknown, but there is money here, and several Tesla cars I see all the time. My friend in Carlsbad, California reports she sees Teslas everywhere out there.
    And it’s tough to lose a sports hero. I followed Jerry West’s career through Sport Magazine in the late 1950s when he starred at West Virginia , all the way through his career as a Laker, and on through his management career. When the Fort Wayne Pistons left for Detroit, they committed to still play a few games a season at War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. I saw Jerry West score 44 points against the Pistons one night …must have been 1965. He is the logo of the NBA, and he led an exemplary life, gone at age 86.

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  51. tajalli said on June 14, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    My favorite car was a Toyota Corolla FX, 2 doors with a hatch, backseats folded down for extra cargo space, 1600cc for great mileage. Retired it when my dad died and left me his Chevy Cavalier sedan which I couldn’t get sold (not in my skills set). The low balling was atrocious or people wanted me to write on the title I’d sold it for $1 so they could avoid the tax or other rubbish manuveurs.

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  52. Mark P said on June 14, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    We have a ‘22 Toyota Sienna, a hybrid rated at 36 city and highway. The vast majority of our driving is semi-rural and suburban with very little stop-and-go, and we average over 36 mpg, sometimes over 40. But the mileage was disappointing on a trip from Georgia to Denver. It didn’t make the EPA rating. For our uses it is very good. My only real complaint is that the second row seating doesn’t collapse into the floor and is not removable. That limits its versatility. Unfortunately I plan to sell it and keep our little Ford Maverick pickup. I don’t think my wife will be driving any more, although she complaines about it, so we don’t need two vehicles.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on June 14, 2024 at 3:34 pm

    tajalli, we also had a Corolla FX for close to 15 years. Economical to buy and run, and fit an amazing amount of cargo. We even took trips with all four of us when the kids were young enough to not need legroom. Never had any mechanical problems either. We gave it to a young couple and they got another five years out of it. I think it was 22 at its end. Bright red, racing stripes, very cute.

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  54. Dave said on June 14, 2024 at 4:41 pm

    We had three minivans, the first, a Ford Aerostar, was the most truck-like, it was built on a Ford Ranger frame and sat higher. It was destroyed in the encounter with logs off a log truck in Georgia in 1991. We next had a Plymouth Voyager, it was a decent enough vehicle but our favorite was the last one, a Pontiac Montana, that served us very well and eventually became my work vehicle, which we parted with after I retired. We liked all of our minivans, they were all great family vehicles.

    Our favorite vehicle that we both enjoyed driving a great deal was a Toyota Camry, that we found in Auburn, Dexter, at whatever the Chrysler dealer in Auburn used to be. We both loved the way it handled, it was such a smooth vehicle and after we were done with it, our son drove it for a few more years.

    Today, we’ve got an Outback, it’s our second one, and we’ve only had occasional issues with the radio, which I believe, was it Basset, who had troubles with an Outback radio. It only happens rarely but occasionally, the frequency can’t be changed or it’ll come on very loudly on only the rear speakers. We’re a single vehicle family now, we saw no need for two vehicles and got rid of the second one while still in Florida, where paying for car insurance is absolutely nuts. It’s probably even worse now.

    Our son had a used Corolla when he was a senior in college and for a period of time after. He still says that it was his favorite vehicle. Now he drives a Nissan Rav4, which I think is nicer and quieter than our Outback.

    I fear for the future of my grandchildren with the decisions and madness and the fact that there’s a whole contingent of spineless folks without any integrity or conscience supporting a vile POS. That is all.

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  55. Suzanne said on June 14, 2024 at 5:58 pm

    I have no doubt the SCOTUS ruling on bumpstocks is in anticipation of the election. They are arming their people to prevent protests if he wins, massive death if he loses.

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  56. Joe Kobiela said on June 14, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    Mark P@52
    I ordered a 2024 Maverick last July and it showed up in January, it a hybrid in the Lariat trim, I’m averaging 40mpg and love it, best vehicle I have owned, sat down with the local dealer and went line by line on what we wanted and paid exactly what we invoiced, I have heard of dealers adding thousands to the sticker price but not where I went.
    Pilot Joe

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  57. Deborah said on June 14, 2024 at 9:07 pm

    Have any of you ever seen the movie Idiocracy? It was made in 2006 but LB and I only just watched it for the first time tonight. It was actually frightening because it so called it on what is happening even now already. Devolution. The fact that the Republicans are running a reality TV celebrity for president again is ludicrous. The guy is a certifiable psychotic narcissist, and the gun nut populace is out of control.

    We only watched it because LB had read somewhere that when it was made the costume designers thought it would be hilarious and would save a lot of money to have the characters wear cheap crocs on their feet because they were so uncool but then crocs actually got sorta popular. The movie ended up making us have anxiety because it seems way too possible, that people can be so gullible and fall for complete crap like they have with Trump is deeply frightening. What else are they capable of?

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  58. Dexter Friend said on June 15, 2024 at 2:42 am

    3 car repairs recently, plumbing stoppages too, then a hole in the roof which allowed water to drip through…3 months ago a major furnace breakdown, and the current corker…with 100F coming in 2 days, my window AC conked out.
    All vehicles repaired, plumbing fixed, furnace motor replaced, roofer company to commence re-roofing the entire roof, and a new air conditioner will be here by 10:00 AM and my big strong son-in-law is lifting it up into the window because I can’t do it anymore.
    So I do get shit done, damn it. I keep after it. What else ya gonna do? My neighbors got all worked up seeing me mowing my lawn and took over the job…I tried to pay the man with the riding mower and he refused. I kept saying “please take it…” and he finally did take a benjamin at least…for the entire season. I am indeed up early as it’s a tad uncomfortable in here with no AC.
    I hope this cavalcade of repairs slows down before my piggy bank empties.

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  59. David C said on June 15, 2024 at 6:45 am

    I’d be all in on a Maverick if they offered a 2-door with a longer bed. Hooking up the trailer to haul stuff around is a bother but the short beds on the compact pickups aren’t a good replacement for us.

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  60. Mark P said on June 15, 2024 at 10:04 am

    I got the eco boost AWD Maverick with the towing package because I hope to take my little trailer camping. I ordered it in September 2022 and got it in July 2023. I am averaging around 27 mpg for its entire life. I saw 34 mpg on a 100-mile trip on rural 2-lanes in the N Georgia foothills. I thought the bed was ridiculously small when I first saw it, but it’s still possible to carry 8-foot material sticking out the back. I really like it, although it is having some problems with the infotainment system, I think after an over-the-air software update.

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  61. Julie Robinson said on June 15, 2024 at 12:25 pm

    Dexter, you’ve had a rough run of it, but please go get cool somewhere if it’s too hot. The library or a mall or movie theatre, whatever it takes. We eldsters can’t handle the heat like we could when younger, and one of the first symptoms is confusion. Please be proactive.

    Animal problems here, a dog with bloody diarrhea despite getting treatment Thursday, and a cat who is refusing to eat. The cat’s been losing weight and becoming lethargic for weeks, but her mommy, my mommy, was worried that going to the vet was too traumatic for kitty. It is, but this is pretty traumatic too. She is going to an emergency vet this afternoon and there’s been lots of drama and tears. Good times, hoo boy.

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  62. Deborah said on June 15, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    Julie, good luck with the pets.

    I made a cherry clafoutis this morning with cherries picked from the park nearby. This is my first time making one and it took 15 minutes longer to bake than the recipe called for, probably because of altitude but also partly because I don’t know what I’m doing. It will probably be fine, it looks and smells fine.

    My husband arrives in Santa Fe today, his birthday was the 1st of June but since he had to stay in Chicago for business we’re celebrating today when he gets here. The clafoutis is for that, I decided to do a clafoutis instead of a pie because it’s a lot easier and when I make pies while they might taste ok, they’re ugly because I’m not good at transferring the dough from the rolling onto the plate. I’m sure it will be ok.

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  63. Jeff Gill said on June 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm

    Too many funerals lately. I’m starting to feel like Miss Beryl, as played by Jessica Tandy, in “Nobody’s Fool” (1994):

    “I think God’s zeroing in on me. I have the feeling this is the year he lowers the boom.”

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  64. brian stouder said on June 15, 2024 at 2:31 pm

    Deborah, just the thought of the aroma of the fresh-baked cherry clafoutis (had to look that noun up!) got my mouth watering…betcha your husband will love it!

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  65. brian stouder said on June 15, 2024 at 2:34 pm

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clafoutis ….

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  66. Julie Robinson said on June 15, 2024 at 4:05 pm

    Kitty didn’t make it. Blood work showed low red blood cell count, diabetes, and kidney disease. Mom is, naturally, a wreck.

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  67. brian stouder said on June 15, 2024 at 5:40 pm

    Julie, your last post made me inhale deeply. Kitty cats are family (as I peck this out on my phone, Cleo is resting on my lap), pure (or purrrr!) and simple.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on June 15, 2024 at 6:19 pm

    Mom has always had cats, except in college when she could go home on weekends. They’ve been her emotional support animals through many hard times. She is adamant about not getting another cat as she is almost 92. We’ll see how that goes. In our best hopes Sarah’s cat will warm up to her.

    In the meantime, we have the comforts of Pub Subs from the ubiquitous Publix grocery chain. And ice cream, equally good in joy or sorrow.

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  69. Deborah said on June 15, 2024 at 6:37 pm

    The clafoutis was ok, the texture was not what I was expecting but it tasted good. If I ever make another one I’m going to try a different recipe. I don’t bake that often, mostly only cookies around Christmas, that’s about it. Now we have a ton of clafoutis left over, that’s why I bake rarely.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on June 15, 2024 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks Julie. New AC blowing cold. Speaking of losing weight…Kate of England…Duchess of York? With her chemo, she looks very very thin.

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  71. Dave said on June 15, 2024 at 9:59 pm

    Beckwith has been nominated for the lieutenant governor candidacy in Indiana. There’s nothing comforting about that.

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  72. David C said on June 16, 2024 at 6:20 am

    I’ll miss laughing at Indiana’s current light gov’s photo at the I-94 rest stop. She looks like she looked up how to smile on Google. It said raise the corners of your mouth and show your teeth. “Got it, take the photo”.


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  73. alex said on June 16, 2024 at 8:18 am

    Sounds like the Indiana GOP is in a big panic over Beckwith, who’s a Christian nationalist and a loose cannon who not only puts the Republican gubernatorial ticket at risk but won’t play well with others once in office.


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