We meet again.

Yes, my little minions, I made it to and from Columbus in one piece. The greatest threat was potentially dying of boredom on the trip down from Lansing on Friday, which seemed endless, all gray skies and flat fields and nothing on the damn radio. I turned on Google Maps’ navigation function as I drew near, and it led me, turn by turn, into an area I remembered as a slum, where today the greatest threat is being hit by a guy on a $3,000 bicycle who was just doored by a BMW.

Gentrification. On the one hand, it displaces the poor. On the other, it displaces the Short North Posse.

Anyway, the party was fun. Nice to see friends old and new, and my biggest fear — that I’d look around and think, “What do I have in common with all these old people” — was not realized. We have a strange relationship with the people we work with; we often spend more time with them than our own families, and when it comes to an end? Sometimes we stay in touch, sometimes people fall off the earth. But it was great to see everyone.

Several journos-turned-authors in the group, or editors of authors. That was interesting. Also, lots had bailed out when the parachutes were still pretty big. Not so much anymore. The copy desk has already been outsourced – to Austin, Texas. That’s how you get mistakes like this, which is not the Columbus Dispatch’s, but a Michigan chain with similar cost pressures:

frontpages

Oopsie. The Lions played the Giants this weekend, not the Cowboys.

And while you’re feeling contempt for the media, do consider that this AP photographer literally risked his life to capture some startling images of the Russian-ambassador assassination in Ankara earlier today.

A strange business. Let’s turn from the tragic to the comical, shall we?

Remember how Tim Goeglein disgraced himself and embarrassed his hometown paper by plagiarizing a couple dozen columns over the course of several years? Well, guess what? He’s writing again — for the same paper, which apparently now has no standards whatsoever.

But he’s delivering a message they’re comfortable with, so I guess all is forgiven:

In 1988 Dan Quayle became vice president of the United States and Dan Coats was plucked from near-obscurity by Indiana Gov. Robert Orr and appointed the new U.S. senator from Indiana. Without peer, Coats was the right man for the job because his character and integrity were unassailable and because he had never lost an election. Even though most Hoosiers hadn’t a clue who he was, those who knew him best knew his personal integrity and natural grace would carry him to the heights of political power.

It’s really a remarkable column. I’m sure it’s not plagiarized, but it’s so…weird and icky that I had to read it a couple times. Coats, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this term, moves Tim to many adjectives, most of them deployed with some stupid adverb, so he’s “loved and respected roundly and widely,” a man who “intentionally widened his gyre in a manner that would serve him and our country powerfully in all the years ahead.” Needless to say, his faith is “deeply felt.” About that faith:

It is that faith that is at the heart of the man himself – utterly foundational to understanding everything he finds most important in life: his long marriage to Marsha, his boundless love for their three children, and the unmatched devotion he has for their many grandchildren. His exceptional respect, love and devotion to his wife and family are his pillars.

Tim! If you’re reading this, here’s a lesson from Comp 101: Show, don’t tell. If you can’t think of a single anecdote or example of all this love and respect in action, adding a bunch of extra adjectives won’t help sell it. And if you choose the wrong ones, it’s just creepy. Lots of people respect, love and are devoted to their spouses and families, so to call one guy’s exceptional, absent of any evidence, is irritating to many readers. And almost everyone would do anything, even give their life, for their own child, so calling Coats’ paternal love boundless is just trite.

Also, stop saying categorical. And immutable. You use utterly twice in adjacent paragraphs. And slipping in the vanilla good in the midst of all that silly froufrou is almost jarring.

At the end, Tim stands revealed as the worst kind of boot-licking toady, all flattery and blandishments and sweet nothings in the ear. Which, when you come to think of it, is probably a good skill set in Washington these days. There’s a new administration hiring, and they like that stuff.

Expect spottier posting for the next couple of weeks, as we move through the holidays. The spirit may move within me, it may take a fortnight off. Fingers crossed.

Posted at 5:38 pm in Current events, Media | 73 Comments
 

The coast.

The week, the month, the year has reached its crescendo — annual review done, story memos done, shopping done. More or less. (Just a few bottles to buy. The Christmas equivalent of phoning it in.)

So now I can relax, work on some longer-term projects, look at the Christmas tree, wrap presents. Coast. Chill. Enjoy.

And drive. A lot. This weekend is the Nall Family Christmas ™ and the Columbus Dispatch Alumni Holiday Party ™, which replaced the booze-soaked Up on the Housetop Party ™ of my era. The Dispatch party is Friday night, and of course I have a training on Friday, in Lansing, which means I’ll be leaving from there. Driving distance between the two state capitals? Four hours and 25 minutes, thanks for asking.

I used to love a long drive. Now it just hurts my back. I recently came to the realization I’m what’s known as an active sedentary person, i.e., someone who exercises for one hour a day, then sits on her ass for the remainder. Not good, but I don’t see an alternative, until I perfect the art of writing-while-walking, and no, I’m not getting a treadmill desk.

I enjoy this time of year, working for Bridge. We go dark for two weeks, which never happens at a daily newspaper. I believe I’ve written before about the torture of the holiday interval in newspapering, which is sort of like anesthesiology — hours of boredom punctuated by seconds of sheer terror. You sit around waiting for a disaster, hoping the pages won’t come up from advertising with more news hole than the canned year-in-review stories can fill, because then you’ll be sent out on a holiday nothingburger, about new year’s preparation or the returns desk at some department store. Those all suck.

The tragedies suck worse — the man who went to midnight mass, missing the fire that broke out and killed his wife and children; the old rummy who robbed a bank, then walked to a nearby bar and waited for arrest, so he could have a warm place to sleep and reliable meals. The underwear bomber was a Christmas Day story. Exploding water mains if it gets real cold, another holiday perennial.

Much better to be off. I clean closets, a deeply satisfying task. I’m also going to find time to watch “Hypernormalisation,” a BBC documentary by Adam Curtis, which is getting insane buzz at the moment, but can only be found on YouTube. I’ll give you a report.

Of course, a lull won’t necessarily arrive this year, as we count down to our nation’s transition. Neil Steinberg referred to these days as being akin the clack-clack-clack of a long climb up the first hill on the world’s most terrifying rollercoaster. I think that’s right.

In North Carolina, they’ll be covering the Calvinball leagues.

In Washington, we’ll be waiting for the first daughter to be first lady, while the woman who would normally fill that role remains separated from her husband in another city. And there’s the new diplomatic corps to look forward to.

Unrelated, except in the what-fresh-horror-is-this file, Lenny Pozner, one of the bereaved parents of Sandy Hook, continues to fight the good fight. What a heartbreaking, infuriating story.

Don’t mean to bum y’all out. I’ll be back after the long weekend.

Posted at 11:32 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 71 Comments
 

A clipping file.

All the hassle of the last fortnight comes to a head tomorrow, so short shrift tonight, but hey — I have some good links.

Neil Steinberg is often one of my first stops in my morning rounds, in part because of his unflinching eye in obits of public figures, but for many other reasons, as well. He’s just a good writer. But I really liked this frank appreciation of a public atheist who died unexpectedly early this week.

I want to post the final paragraphs, but it would give away the best part of the piece. Just read it.

On a far grimmer note, but a good read, is this tick-tock about the fire in Oakland. Kate’s band sometimes plays places like this, and I never stop worrying when she does.

Another great piece by Ta’Nehisi Coates, about the departing president. Too much wonderful stuff to quote. read it over lunch.

Posted at 12:01 am in Current events | 35 Comments
 

The world’s longest to-do list.

Every so often we all wonder if we’re in the right place, job-wise, right? Don’t you look at job listings from time to time? Sure you do, even if you like the one you have. Grass is varying shades of green, so we’re always looking on the other side of the fence.

So here you go: $125-150K per year for running six separate estates, all owned by the same family (or LLC, most likely), in three different cities (Franklin, Mich., Aspen and Palm Beach). Basically, you’re at the beck and call of Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags and their adult children, as a combination event planner, food and beverage manager, diplomat, maintenance supervisor, human resources director (“in an environment where everyone is given clear expectations and loves coming to work daily”) and six or seven other full-time jobs, all rolled into one. And you have to be able to travel at the drop of a hat and pay the bills and, and, and…

That sounds like a fat salary until you consider that it’s really a bargain for a family that apparently needs six houses to encompass all their money. On the up side, you’ll learn a lot of interesting things about the Trumps.

The weekend turned out to be 50 percent of one. I’m working pretty much all day Sunday, writing a story and doing other chores, so I can leave early on Friday — I’m hoping to attend the Columbus Dispatch alumni holiday party for the first time in a few years. I’m also hoping not to be detained by the weather; a polar vortex is headed this way, with “frigid air tied up (that) has its origins in Siberia and northern Canada.”

As if Russia hasn’t fucked with us enough as of late.

A story I’m not getting into, because I feel the top of my skull is just barely holding on.

Although you should read this.

This Twitter account is mainly for comic relief.

I have to start writing other things now. It’s snowing like crazy, too. Hello, winter.

Posted at 11:55 am in Current events, Popculch | 38 Comments
 

A poison willingly swallowed.

I ordinarily don’t let the news bother me personally, but this Comet pizza story is driving me nuts. It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed, if not behind this story, then another one. First, this story:

For some months now, Stefanie MacWilliams, 24, a stay-at-home mother of a 1-year-old boy in Ontario, has written nearly every day, usually about politics, for Planet Free Will, a conservative website based in the United States. Her husband, a mechanic, is the family’s main breadwinner, but Mac­Williams has been earning some money, too, writing a lot about how good Trump would be for America, and a fair amount about how bad President Obama was.

Starting in early November, MacWilliams noticed that stories based on the Podesta emails were making waves. A friend “who knows I’m interested in politics and shares conspiracy things with me” sent MacWilliams stories about Comet Ping Pong.

…In the third paragraph of her story, MacWilliams wrote that “we must stress that there is as yet no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing.” She thought she was being quite responsible. She had read Internet chatter about strange happenings and code words, and she thought this needed investigation. She was miffed that Posobiec had been escorted out of Comet when his video tour might have gotten to the bottom of the mystery.

MacWilliams calls herself a journalist, but she does not try to be “100 percent accurate,” either. She believes the beauty of the Internet is that people can crowdsource the truth. Eventually, what is real will emerge, she said.

And sometimes, it emerges in the form of an unbalanced man armed with a powerful rifle, so he can rampage through a restaurant in search of the children he’s been led to believe are being held there as sex slaves.

And sometimes it’s an unbalanced woman:

MIAMI — A Florida woman has been charged with making death threats against the parent of a child who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre because she thought the attack was a hoax, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

…The threats were made in January 2016 — according to authorities — and included messages that said, “you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon,” and “LOOK BEHIND YOU IT IS DEATH.” Court documents added that another threat said, “there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Yes, another big fake-news story, right there.

Finally, we’re into what’s-the-use territory, at least with some people:

The proliferation of fake and hyperpartisan news that has flooded into Americans’ laptops and living rooms has prompted a national soul-searching, with liberals across the country asking how a nation of millions could be marching to such a suspect drumbeat. But while some Americans may take the stories literally — like the North Carolina man who fired his gun in a Washington pizzeria on Sunday trying to investigate a false story spread online of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton — many do not.

The larger problem, experts say, is less extreme but more insidious. Fake news, and the proliferation of raw opinion that passes for news, is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, causing a kind of fun-house effect that leaves the reader doubting everything, including real news.

…“Fake news is subjective,” Mr. Laughlin said. “It depends on who’s defining it. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I’ve been calling out fake news on Facebook since I first joined it, and only occasionally were people surprised to learn something was fake, and/or prompted to take it down. The prevailing attitude was, why you gotta be such a party-pooper? It’s a good story.

No wonder journalists get no respect. We’re always pissing in the whiskey.

Well, Wednesday was better than Tuesday. Perhaps Thursday will really peg the needle. The end of the year is always busy at my shop — performance reviews, book-closing, all that stuff. I never know what I’m doing from one day to the next in the scramble to get it all done, plus getting set up for the new year. I try to walk the dog around 5 most days, and it’s full dark this time of year. Six months ago, it barely counted as late afternoon.

Maybe Icelandic life wouldn’t suit me so well after all. But it’s certainly warmer in Reykjavik today.

Posted at 9:36 pm in Current events | 50 Comments
 

Three for the road.

Having endured the worst Tuesday since Nov. 8, I’m disinclined to spend much time here, but — sigh — I’ll do my best.

I think part of my malaise is the Gray Bowl, which always descends on the Midwest at this time of year. In ways it’s welcome — no guilt about lying on the couch, mainlining old movies or Netflix or whatever — but when you find yourself turning on lamps at 3 in the afternoon, ah well. It’s winter, or nearly so. Time for the long hibernation.

So have a few links while I wait for Wednesday to get better.

The National Security Advisor-nominee has some interesting media-consumption habits. Guess what they are.

Remember the story of te little ball-turret gunner? His contemporary equivalent yearns for a paper-bag lunch.

From Bridge: Meet Betsy DeVos.

Better luck tomorrow, to all of us.

Posted at 9:39 pm in Current events | 71 Comments
 

Peeling and pulling.

I’m having one of those late afternoons/early evenings where everything in the world is getting under my skin. Which means it’s time to peel the shrimp I bought earlier and pull the cork on a nice bottle of white.

What’s bugging me? WHAT’S BUGGING ME, YOU ASK? Let me count the ways:

Never have I been so glad to be unconnected from the worst of political noise than when I watch something like this, Trevor Noah’s Daily Show interview with some vile twat named Tomi Lahren. Ten minutes was enough to send me around the bend to Bitchytown.

Statnews is another nonprofit news outlet, like Bridge, concentrating on health-care news. From what I’ve seen, they’re pretty good. This story, about a seemingly warm reception to anti-vaccination activists by the Trump campaign, didn’t give me hope for the future of science, however:

Public health experts said it’s unlikely Trump will pack federal agencies with activists who would change the recommended childhood vaccine schedule or otherwise steer shifts in federal vaccination policy. The evidence that vaccines are safe and effective is so overwhelming, they said, that such a move would prompt a huge outcry from scientists and many politicians on both sides of the aisle.

But experts said there could be a cultural impact of having a doubter in the Oval Office.

Those who seek to undercut trust in vaccines “see in Donald Trump a fellow traveler — someone who, like them, is willing to basically ignore scientific studies and say, ‘This is true. Vaccines cause autism because I believe it’s true,’” said Dr. Paul Offit, the head of the infectious diseases department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

How comforting.

I was reading a little about the Carrier deal. Seven million over 10 years to Carrier for keeping more jobs in Indiana, which seems like chump change, except for this part:

Mr. Trump, while offering a carrot through the state incentives, also held an implicit stick: the threat of pulling $5 billion to $6 billion in federal contracts from Carrier’s parent, United Technologies. Mr. Trump and his team were well aware that the amount United Technologies stood to lose in those contracts dwarfed the estimated $65 million Carrier sought to save by moving to Monterrey from Indiana.

Man, whoever took that video of the staff meeting where the bad news was announced ought to be generously bonused, because that shit was BANK for this company.

I”m so old (how old are you?) I’m so old I remember when Republicans argued against this sort of micromanagement. I’m so old I remember Indiana politicians and editorial writers howling about the auto-industry bailout. Obama was meddling in the free market! Don’t pick winners and losers! Let the Invisible Hand lift its Terrible Swift Sword and enact Creative Destruction! And so on. Today? Crickets from the more honest ones, outright lying from the real propagandists.

I also remember, when Bill Clinton dared to suggest the American public was getting “two for the price of one” because he had such a smart wife, conservatives howled. They howled about how no one voted for her, and first ladies should stick to their knitting and advocate safe causes like Nature and Education and so forth. This belief was of course suspended when Michele Obama’s cause was childhood obesity, and every cafeteria menu was defended like the national cuisine of Italy, but never mind that. So what do I read in Politico today? Ivanka Trump plans to play a part in daddy’s administration. And not a small one, either:

Ivanka, 35, Trump’s avatar among the moneyed left-wing elite, is now poised to be the first “first daughter” in modern history to play a larger public role than the first lady. And she’s positioning herself exactly as she did that weekend — as a bridge to moderates and liberals disgusted and depressed with the tone and tenor of the new leader of the free world.

And the ambitious daughter, who once plotted her career around international brand domination, is planning to take on an even heavier lift. Ivanka wants to make climate change — which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese — one of her signature issues, a source close to her told Politico. The source said Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue.

You can see, perhaps, why I’m a bit testy. Time to peel the shrimp. Have a nice weekend, all.

Posted at 6:29 pm in Current events | 99 Comments
 

Soup and nuts.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, we don’t eat canned soup in our house. Alan once spent a summer working the Campbell’s soup factory in Napoleon, Ohio, an experience that put him off canned soup once and for all. (He also worked in a pizza factory for a spell. Don’t get him started.) Because I really like soup, this led to me having to learn how to make it from scratch. The good news is, homemade soup is so much better than the canned variety that the bad news — yes, it takes longer than opening a can and heating it on the stove — is entirely eclipsed. We eat soup throughout fall and winter and into the spring, and I don’t resent any of the time and effort spent to make it myself.

Which brings me back around to Blue Apron, which we chewed over a few weeks back, and something else that bothers me about it.

I poked around on their website for a bit, which is the extent of the research I’m willing to do about it. Here’s a vegetarian offering, for cauliflower “steaks” and farro salad:

This dish highlights the delectable potential of one of autumn’s most abundant vegetables: cauliflower. We’re roasting thick slices until they develop a crisp, golden crust and a tender, sweet interior. Our “steaks” get an elevated topping of juicy grapes, toasty hazelnuts and fresh rosemary quickly cooked in a brown butter sauce, which also lends its incredible flavor to a hearty farro and arugula salad. A pinch of fennel pollen (an intensely aromatic spice with notes of citrus and sweet anise) completes the dish with sophisticated flair.

Sounds delicious. But if Blue Apron and similar services are being used as a crutch, or an intermediate step by young and busy people toward actual kitchen independence, they are going about it all wrong, in my opinion. Fennell pollen is not an ingredient that should be in a beginner’s kitchen, or even, it could be argued, any kitchen.

You want to cook more at home? Start with soup. Easy-peasy. You have the stuff that gives the soup its name (tomatoes, squash, chicken and noodles, whatever) and the stuff it floats in (clear broth, cream/milk), and that’s pretty much it. You can mash up some of the first stuff to make it thicker, but that’s up to you. Play around with it, figure out what you like, and move on from there. No need for fennel pollen.

So, we can discuss cooking today, or we can talk about the business genius involved in throwing a few more millions of taxpayer dollars at a company, so it’ll make a show of staying in Indiana. And all this from the party that said government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. All bets off.

Posted at 9:47 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 70 Comments
 

Head case.

I’ve been busy the last couple of days, and I’m sure one of you already posted this, but sometimes I have to skim the comments a little, and maybe I missed it – “Coping with Chaos in the White House,” a psychologist’s guide to understanding a certain narcissist we can all name. It included this passage:

You can influence him by making him feel good. There are already people like Bannon who appear ready to use him for their own ends. The GOP is excited to try. Watch them, not him.

Which is why I’m not taking this bait, no sir:

flagtweet

Everyone knows what trolling is, but this is really ham-handed. Speaking of hands, this is not the one to watch. While he’s jumping up and down about flags, something is going on just outside your field of vision. That’s what you need to keep your eye on.

And I was feeling so good after the long weekend. At the end of four years I’m going to look 70 years old.

Of course, at the end of four years I’ll be 63. So not that far off.

Have some bloggage, while I wait to be inspired to think about something, anything, other than Himself.

An interesting Flint piece, from a new science website. The writer drank Flint water, unfiltered, and gave himself lead poisoning. Still a great deal of work to be done there.

Just 200 lousy words tonight, but I don’t have much more in me. Let’s try tomorrow.

Posted at 9:54 pm in Current events | 46 Comments
 

Cans to the curb.

Well, that was a much-needed break. Saw some movies, read a novel, celebrated my birthday, had a Thanksgiving dinner of tofu and vegetable stir-fry. And it was a productive one. The end is in sight for the Great Basement Clean-out; we should be mightily slimmed down by Christmas, our most precious basement stuff high off the floor and much old junk taken to the curb on trash day. The precipitating event for this project was a flood in nearby neighborhoods, caused by a heavy autumn thunderstorm. The city claimed it was simply too much rain for the sewers and pumps to handle, so it ended up in people’s basements. While there is a counterargument to be made, it’s undeniable that climate change is giving us more such rain events, so I feel good about being prepared. It’s only a matter of time before our number comes up; this is a low-lying area.

Among the things I unearthed was a pile of 20-year-old News-Sentinels, most with columns of mine somewhere in them — journalists used to save clips like relics. Into the trash they went. One edition puzzled me, until I noticed a story at the bottom of the features front, written by an intern. It was a puff piece on some woman who’d written a book for younger women married to older men. She’d grown up in the Fort and was in town for her high-school reunion and had worked a book signing in there. I suppose I was taken by two passages:

author

First, that someone born Margaret can become Beliza, and second, the blithe way her marriage is described in the story. I recall a colleague dropping this on my desk with a witty note: “In other words, she broke up a family and now we’re writing about her self-congratulatory book.” Oh, well. They’d been married 25 years at the time the story was written, so it wasn’t an entirely Trumpian match. I wonder more about how Margaret became Beliza. I’m suspicious of first-name changers, like the woman who broke up John Edwards’ marriage, born Lisa Druck and morphed into Reille (pronounced “Reilly”) Hunter. Beliza sounds like it might have been the product of rather determined self-reinvention, but what do I know? Maybe she fell in love in Belize.

Or it’s a mashup, like Elian Gonzalez. I don’t speak Spanish and don’t know the culture of Latin America all that well, and when I first heard the name just figured it was one I didn’t know, but then I read it was one of those late-20th-century one-offs that his mother came up with…why? Why? Yes, to be “unique,” because if there’s one thing every inhabitant of planet earth has a right to, it’s a name like no other. There are only 365 possible birthdays (366 in leap years), but you needn’t share your name, not anymore.

Which brings us to the big story of the weekend, the death of Elian’s patron, Fidel Castro. I made up my mind to read just one major piece about him this weekend and decided on the NYT obit, on the strength of Anthony DePalma’s byline. He spoke to the Knight-Wallace Fellows way back when I was one, and I was impressed at the depth of his understanding of Cuba, and his encyclopedic and unsparing knowledge of Fidel. It’s a very long obit, so I’ll break my three-paragraphs rule for just this marvelous passage:

He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan. 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.

A spotlight shone on him as he swaggered and spoke with passion until dawn. Finally, white doves were released to signal Cuba’s new peace. When one landed on Mr. Castro, perching on a shoulder, the crowd erupted, chanting: “Fidel! Fidel!” To the war-weary Cubans gathered there and those watching on television, it was an electrifying sign that their young, bearded guerrilla leader was destined to be their savior.

Most people in the crowd had no idea what Mr. Castro planned for Cuba. A master of image and myth, Mr. Castro believed himself to be the messiah of his fatherland, an indispensable force with authority from on high to control Cuba and its people.

He wielded power like a tyrant, controlling every aspect of the island’s existence. He was Cuba’s “Máximo Lider.” From atop a Cuban Army tank, he directed his country’s defense at the Bay of Pigs. Countless details fell to him, from selecting the color of uniforms that Cuban soldiers wore in Angola to overseeing a program to produce a superbreed of milk cows. He personally set the goals for sugar harvests. He personally sent countless men to prison.

But it was more than repression and fear that kept him and his totalitarian government in power for so long. He had both admirers and detractors in Cuba and around the world. Some saw him as a ruthless despot who trampled rights and freedoms; many others hailed him as the crowds did that first night, as a revolutionary hero for the ages.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a dove land on me before, but maybe that day is coming.

A little googling on Elian turned up this great Gene Weingarten piece from when it was going on, 16 years ago. I bet Weingarten likes his old clips better than I like mine.

Also this weekend I tried to stay…not away, but maybe an arm’s length from the news, just for a while. It helped, although I couldn’t avoid this piece, about magical thinking among some Trump voters:

Dalia Carmeli, who drives a trolley in downtown Miami, voted for Donald J. Trump on Election Day. A week later, she stopped in to see the enrollment counselor who will help her sign up for another year of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“I hope it still stays the same,” said Ms. Carmeli, 64, who has Crohn’s disease and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor’s appointments and an array of medications.

Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t it? More:

More vulnerable are people like Gerardo Murillo Lovo, 44, a construction worker who never had health insurance before signing up for a marketplace plan in 2014. He pays $15 a month and gets a subsidy of $590 for a plan that covers his wife, as well. When he renewed his coverage last week at the Epilepsy Foundation, he learned that the price would not increase next year.

“I’ve heard that what he wanted to do first is get rid of Obamacare,” Mr. Murillo, a Nicaraguan immigrant who is a citizen but did not vote, said of Mr. Trump. “But my personal opinion is that he will discuss it with other people who will convince him that we can’t get rid of this. I think it’s going to be maintained one way or another, and I’m going to keep it as long as I can.”

Thanks, low-information voters.

OK, then. The week ahead will be the week ahead, and it’s time to take it on. Break’s over, back on your heads.

Posted at 6:06 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 91 Comments