Hot days, a little A/C and teevee.

God, it’s been a week, and it will continue to be a week for another day or two. So in the meantime, a TV recommendation, at least for those of you with premium cable – “Years and Years,” now playing on HBO, via the BBC.

It’s a near-future sci-fi series about the journey of a northern England family, the Lyons – four adult children, one grandmother, a dead mother and an absent father. In the opening episode, one of the adult children, Rosie, is having her second out-of-wedlock child, with which everyone is totally cool. This is a modern family. One son is gay, one’s in an interracial marriage, a daughter is a globe-trotting do-gooder and the second daughter is the one having the baby, little Lincoln Lyons. As the first episode ends, the gay brother holds the baby in his arms and wonders what life will be like for him.

Answer: Not good.

We’re only on episode three, and the action has moved forward about seven years. (It starts in 2019.) And so far, we’ve seen a nuclear strike on one of those man-made Chinese islands, a global financial crisis, the rise of a Trump-like (but far, far smarter) British politician and a movement toward “trans humanism,” wherein young people seek to upload their consciousness to “the cloud” and “recycle” their bodies. All of this is interspersed with the stuff of ordinary human life — birthday parties, Christmases, commuting to work, etc.

I remember, during the financial crisis, reading the daily stories of financial mayhem, closing my laptop and looking out at the street. Why weren’t people rioting, fighting over bags of rice? Because even in extremely stressful times, children need to be fed, showers taken, birthdays celebrated. “Years and Years” strikes that balance of the mundane details of human life and the grand movements of human history.

It runs on Monday nights. I think I need to save it for the weekend, because it scares the ever-loving shit out of me.

Emma Thompson plays the politician. Very well.

Trust me, it’s worth your time.

What else is happening today? Epstein, etc. I can’t keep up. Been very busy.

I’ll be back before week’s end.

Posted at 9:38 pm in Television | 30 Comments
 

Could you repeat that? LOUDER?

I was sitting down to blog last night after dinner when all the house’s various white-noise sounds — refrigerator, ceiling fans — went silent and the internet stopped working, and whaddaya know, we’re having a power outage.

It wasn’t a widespread one, but it meant no blogging, no HBO, limited phone use to preserve battery life. I took the opportunity to go to bed at 10 p.m. — not really; I always go to bed at 10 — after reading until the light was all the way gone. Primitive things, these “books,” but oddly calming at bedtime.

And all was well and I was sweetly slumbering until 11, when the power came back on and my neighbor, who I suspect had been drinking earlier, bellowed THE POWER’S BACK ON while standing in his driveway, more or less directly under my bedroom window, and then I was wide awake until 1 a.m. and that, my friends, is how what started as a pleasant Little House on the Prairie Sunday night turned into a drag-ass Monday.

Why not sleep in? you may be thinking. Can’t do that. I’m signed up to do an open-water swim in about five weeks, and it’s time to put the hammer down, training-wise, and Monday is a swim day, so that’s what I did. Anyway, it’s summer outdoor swimming, and you don’t skip that just because you didn’t sleep well. Here’s the view from the pool deck at 6:21 a.m.:

I’ve been reading about the Jeffrey Epstein case, and have decided I don’t care if Bill Clinton gets his pecker caught in a mousetrap on this one — if he was a part of this, he richly deserves it. A friend posted this New York magazine piece from 2002, and I read it this afternoon. Epstein is close to Leslie Wexner, Columbus’ richest scion and the first billionaire I ever interviewed, maybe the only one, although at the time, he was merely a $600-millionaire. Reader, I cannot lie: I liked him and totally swallowed the story he was peddling, about how he emerged from a haze of work and empire building to become a money-slinging mover/shaker in the early ’80s. It may well be true, I don’t know, but anyone associated with Epstein is suspect by association. Anyway, this passage brought me up short:

“Before Epstein came along in 1988, the financial preparations and groundwork for the New Albany development [a wealthy exurb Wexner conjured out of farmland east of the city] were a total mess,” says Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus-based investigative journalist who has written extensively on Wexner and his finances. “Epstein cleaned everything up, as well as serving Wexner in other capacities – such as facilitating visits to Wexner’s home of the crew from Cats and organizing a Tony Randall song-and-dance show put on in Columbus.” Wexner declines to talk about his relationship with Epstein, but it is clearly one that continues to this day.

I really need to know more about this Tony Randall song-and-dance show, and I’m disappointed no editor asked that question.

I saw a booking photo of Epstein today. Despite (according to NYMag) “an hour and fifteen minutes every day doing advanced yoga with his personal instructor, who travels with him wherever he goes,” he looked quite slope-shouldered. No swimmer, he!

OK, then, with this measly update we start the week.

Posted at 7:16 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 32 Comments
 

A grim holiday.

I’ve lost track of time again, which happens with midweek holidays. I keep thinking it’s Saturday, but it’s not, and I have to work tomorrow, but it’ll be an easy-ish day, so whatever. All I know right now is, it’s hot, and the fireworks are already starting, and Wendy isn’t happy about that at all.

As I’m sure many of you noticed, it’s a terrible Fourth of July this year, what with the shenanigans in Washington and all the rest of it. The wind was non-existent, so no sailing, either. So we did something completely different, and went to a walking tour of downtown, called “Enemies of Freedom: Monuments of Detroit’s Slaveowners.” We walked from statue to historical marker to statue to historical marker, while the guide, who specializes in African-American history, told us which ones owed their wealth to exploitation of human beings. (Spoiler: All of them.)

The constant struggle in American history, with one army giving way to another, an ocean of blood drenching the ground, a million little tragedies adding up to a paragraph in a history book — I guess this is what you call the long view. And it helped on a day when the short view is so gruesome.

Only one person fainted in the heat, a young girl. Her mother carried her into the Church of Scientology building, where she recovered quickly. The Scientology building had a marker on it identifying it as the original site of Sainte Anne’s Catholic Church, located in the original French fort. Its first pastor, this marker claimed, Rev. Nicholas Constantine De L’Halle, was killed by Indians in 1706, making him the first Christian martyr in Detroit. The guide added that the Indians were upset because one of their number had been shot by the French, after he kicked a soldier’s dog who was bothering him. So they retaliated by shooting the priest. But history is written by the victors, and so: Christian martyr.

The girl was fine, once she drank some water and cooled off. We ended up peeling off ourselves — the tour was already running 45 minutes over, it was 88 degrees, the stops were becoming less interesting and we both needed a beer and sandwich. So that’s what we did.

So, a little bloggage? Sure: An interview with John Waters. He’s funny:

Have you ever done drag?
I was only in drag once, and that was as the Wicked Witch at a birthday party when I was 8 years old. That ended my drag career. You have to be so careful of what you say. My friend told me this story, “You know, every gay man once tried on their mother’s shoes.” You did it once; you never did it again. But now, if you have a very liberal mother and they catch you, you have sexual reassignment lessons at 8 years old. And you might not really wanna do that.

I don’t think that would happen.
Well, people have babies. That’s why Trump will win. Because of things like babies, where you don’t tell your child what sex they are until they figure it out themselves when they’re 3 years old, and then you give ’em a party and say, “You’re a girl.” These children will be in mental institutions. Your parents are supposed to tell you what to do. Then later, if you disagree, you rebel and do the opposite. I think that’s a healthy lifestyle.

That’s it for me this week, and you all have a good weekend.

Posted at 9:43 pm in Current events, Detroit life | 62 Comments
 

Send her home.

I know we’ve been over this time and again, but having seen Princess Nepotism’s many appearances at the G20 summit, I’m reduced to spluttering. The gall, etc. Imagine if Obama did this, etc. What if that were Chelsea Clinton, etc.

I’ve been thinking it all weekend, and now I must say it out loud: The day Ivanka does her perp walk in handcuffs will be the best day of my life. I will GIF that moment, load it into a digital frame and mount it on the wall, where it will play for eternity. Just a loop. I’ll stand before it for a few minutes every day. “Hi, Ivanka,” I’ll say. “I hope you’re enjoying federal prison.”

At least Christine Lagarde gets it. She also knows how to dress for such an event, I might add. What TF is that Amish-ass dress Barbie has on? I know it’s Valentino, I know it cost $4,500, but it’s WRONG. The one time it would be OK to show up in a sheath dress, she goes for something with tricksy sleeves.

There HAVE to be other people out there who feel this way. There HAVE to. Otherwise I might just go stark raving mad.

So, then:

I see my Jobbie Nooner piece for Deadline Detroit made it into the comments, but for those who don’t read them, here it is. Apparently we left too early for the nuttiness that followed when a fierce little thunderstorm broke it all up. That’s good, because that was exactly the plan; Michael, whose boat we were in, looked at the towering cumulus clouds forming in the west and said, “Yeah, now would be a good time to go.” I have little sympathy for people who can afford tens of thousands for a cool boat, but cannot spare the brain capacity it would take to learn how to operate it safely, or just to occasionally flick open the weather app on their phones and see what’s coming. Also, you fend off another boat with your feet, not your hands, a lesson Mr. Missing Finger now knows all too well.

That story did well over the weekend, but you know what eclipsed it in a couple hours on Sunday? Three paragraphs and an embedded video of people doing donuts on the Lodge freeway. Online readers, I will never, ever understand your crazy tastes. And apparently this is a thing, thanks to SusanF for passing that video along.

It’s a holiday week, but I still must work it. Enjoy yours.

Posted at 10:28 am in Current events | 66 Comments
 

Yeah, sure.

I’m beginning to think Sherri is not paranoid at all. We are broken. The gerrymandering decision was just one in a series of terrible court rulings that we had best get used to. It’s not going to get better. It might improve a little here and there, but better? Overall better? Not in any way certain, no matter who wins in 2020.

Oddly enough, I am not alarmed by this:

President Trump said Thursday that he is seeking to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give administration officials time to come up with a better explanation for why it should include a citizenship question.

Trump’s announcement, in tweets sent from Japan, came hours after the Supreme Court put on hold his administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, saying it had provided a “contrived” reason for wanting the information.

“Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020,” Trump wrote in his tweet. “I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter.”

It’s not going to happen. You can’t “delay the census.” But “I’m asking the lawyers to do something” is something that Trump has learned is a bit of a magic phrase that can always strike a little fear into a few hearts: I am calling my lawyers! There will be hell to pay! It’s just one of his bullshit catch phrases, like “that’s fantastic” and “best of luck, I’m sure you’ll do phenomenally,” et fucking al.

Of course, I could be wrong! But it’s a warm summer Thursday, and I’m choosing calm for now.

I wish I were more optimistic today, but it’s been a long hot week and tomorrow I’m headed up to a sandbar party in Lake St. Clair for a story, maybe, and I need some sleep.

Here’s another story on E. Jean Carroll, talking to the friends she told about Trump’s rape, and more about her life. It’s good.

A good weekend to all.

Posted at 9:33 pm in Current events | 54 Comments
 

Shrinking pains.

My little narcissistic suburb is going through some agonies at the moment — falling enrollment in the schools, which leads to less state aid for education, which means schools operating well under capacity, which means schools closing. This is a community that Values Education, which means these decisions are Fraught With Drama, with lots of Impassioned Speeches at the Podium, etc.

Last night they voted to close two elementary schools and reconfigure middle school into a 5-8 arrangement. OMG THE DRAMA TODAY. But it made me think about my own schoolin’, way back when, and how it compares to the educational trends of today.

My high school class was around…750. Whew. Peak of the baby boom, 1957 was. We only had three grades in the building, so we’re talking over 2,000 kids under one roof. Nowadays that would be considered a warehouse, an abuse factory, a place where kids can’t get Personalized Attention and a Supportive Environment, but man, I loved it.

Two thousand kids in one building means you can find 20 or 30 who want to take Russian, and hire a teacher to take them through four years of it. Two thousand kids means one-English-class-fits-all ends in ninth grade and for the rest of your time there, you take one-semester classes that can pick up everyone from the dummies (Reading for Pleasure and Profit) to the smarties (20th Century Novel/Poetry/Drama, plus about a dozen more high-level electives). There was World History, European History, U.S. History, Ancient History. Math and science were similarly diversified.

The other great thing about a big school is, you can get lost in it. With every classroom in use every period, there was no study hall — we had “free periods” in which you could go to the library, the open cafeteria in a non-lunch period or to the smoking area. If you were Nancy, you might also slip away to the trouper deck in the auditorium, various janitorial supply rooms or my favorite — the room under the pool, where the pumps and barrels of chlorine powder were kept. There was a window there that let you observe the swimmers underwater, digging their suits out of their crotches after a feet-first landing off the high board. The janitor was very cool and let us sit with him. My friend Jeff, a gay misfit, was a genius at finding these secret spaces. We spent a lot of time in them.

When I went to college, I found it no harder than senior year, and a lot more interesting.

I guess my point is, if your parents are on the job and your teachers aren’t total idiots, things tend to work out, no matter what your brick-and-mortar setup is. Also, schools in that period had not yet been defunded and charter-ized and otherwise manipulated by yokel legislators. Although they certainly were during Kate’s public-school years, and somehow she got through OK.

Might have been one of the lucky ones, I fully acknowledge. Probably was.

So, Wednesday dead ahead. I’d post links, but I’m tired and as we all know by now, anything I post today will be outdated in four hours. So enjoy your Wednesday, and let’s see each other going on Friday.

Posted at 9:41 pm in Uncategorized | 47 Comments
 

Of course he did it.

I see you guys pounced on the Carroll story, as I figured you would. I wish I could say I was surprised by the reaction, but I’m not, not at this point, anyway. And the reaction? At least on social media, it boils down to a few main themes:

1) It’s entirely made up by a crazy woman to sell books, I guess because it’s so much fun to interrupt your career as a successful writer to have people sending you death threats.
2) It never happened because she’s so old and ugly. That it happened 20 years ago is still incomprehensible to these people, because she was 52 at the time, and 52? OMG gross, etc. That was even older than Trump at the time, and anyway…
3) …he has a type, and you’re not it, you crazy lying attention-starved crone. That E. Jean Carroll was once young and lovely, and middle-aged and still lovely, is too hard for them to understand, so they have to default to her not being a Trump Type, i.e., Melania/Ivanka/Lara/Kimberly Guilfoyle/Hope Hicks, et al, i.e., long legs and big fake tits and barrel-curled hair.
4) Maybe something happened, but not like that. This last was a one-off, admittedly; I read one comment from an incel who suggested that what really happened was, she actually tried on the lingerie and modeled it for him, capping it off with “probably the last time she was able to have natural lubrication,” which is how I know this guy must be an incel.
5) I’ve been to Bergdorf Goodman, and based on this knowledge I am certain there is no way they could have been alone in the lingerie department. I imagine these people are the ones who examine satellite images of FEMA death camps and blueprints of Comet Ping Pong to find the hidden child-trafficking sex dens.
6) Finally, where’s the evidence, bitch? Because of course a department store keeps tapes — and they would have been tapes, then — of its fitting-room cameras for 20-plus years. And so on.

For the record, I believe her. Because:

1) This fits a pattern, well-established by now and testified to by a couple dozen women — the abrupt push against a wall, the forceful kissing, the fumbling.
2) He grabbed her you-know-what. He’s said he likes to do that.
3) He’s impressed by people who are on TV; that’s how he recognized her.
4) He told her, “you’re in good shape,” more or less precisely what he told the French first lady on one of their meetings. It seems to be how he expresses amazement that a woman older than the man she’s with might actually be appealing.

As for her old-ass looks — ooh, gross! a woman over FIFTY? — not only is E. Jean Carroll still quite striking, in her youth she was — and I have this on good authority — an absolute knockout. Tall, slim, beautiful.

You know what? Fuck this guy, and fuck all the guys who defend him, and then set fire to the whole pile of them. The fat between their ears should make for a nice blaze. Reading that article ruined my Friday afternoon. I was in a bad mood for hours. A beautiful young girl got on the #31 a few stops after me that morning, and I got to watch the so-called male gaze, as many turned to look at her as she passed. That’s never a good feeling to be on the opposite end of, and not much fun to watch. I know men will always look — it’s their nature — but it’s one thing to shift your eyes, and quite another to turn your head and bug out your eyes like something in a Tex Avery cartoon. Practice the first kind.

Palate-cleanser: I got my hair cut this weekend, and as I came in, a man was checking out with two exquisitely groomed standard poodles, both white. Neither had the full Westminster Kennel Club clip with the strategically placed little balls, but they looked like they got their hair did about every five minutes. I petted one, and he left. Asked my stylist what-the, as the salon only handles human heads. She said he comes in every few weeks with both dogs. For a pedicure, or rather, to have their nails painted. No, I didn’t notice the color.

I’m reading a wonderful novel now, too — “Fleishman is in Trouble,” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, an NYT magazine staff writer, and one of those bylines I always turn to with pleasure. It’s fantastic, but I’m not done yet. A fuller review when I am, but if you’re looking for something to read on vacation, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s been a lovely weekend, but it’s coming to an end. Time to start thinking about children in concentration camps again. Not to bum you out.

Posted at 6:55 pm in Current events, Media | 64 Comments
 

A half-dozen items in search of a blog.

My god, when was I here last? Sunday? Now it’s Thursday. It was…a week. A few snapshots from it:

1) I’ve been trying to take the bus as often as possible this summer. Saves on parking, saves on gas, saves on peace of mind when I can spend the ride reading or relaxing or doing anything other than gripping the wheel and getting driver’s blood pressure. I generally ride the Detroit city bus coming in and take the suburban system home. There are differences.

The Detroit bus fills up about halfway to downtown. It is hardly ever not full, no matter when I take it. And it is overwhelmingly full of people wearing the polo shirts of various downtown restaurants, or otherwise dressed like people who have to take the bus because they don’t have a choice. The suburban bus is never more than half full, going home. The Detroit bus often features…conflict. Last week, two men yelled at each other for a few blocks, making less and less sense until one shouted, IF THERE’S ONE THING I CAN’T STAND IT’S A DOPE FIEND and the other one shouted back ME TOO and then the argument was over, just like that. It’s good when we can all come together and agree on something.

I’m going to write an epic poem at the end of the warm season, all about DDOT bus #31. I’ll call it “#31.”

2) One day I didn’t drive, because I had to go up to Bloomfield Hills for lunch. It would take, literally, six hours to get to where I needed to go via bus, so I drove. Bloomfield Hills is a wealthy area, and I drove past strip malls of boutiques, specialty groceries and high-end chain stores, because god forbid you do yoga in stretchy pants from Target — they have to cost $90 and come from Lululemon. Beautiful late-model cars glided past in oncoming traffic. If I hadn’t been expected at lunch, I might have stopped at one deli my boss is always raving about. It’s very good, but a tuna sandwich costs $14.

Later that day, the freeway was clogged, and I drove home from downtown on surface streets, along my bus route, some of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. It was…a contrast, shall we say. Nothing like a big city to give you a constant slide show of drama.

3) Here’s a police brief from my community:

4) Here’s a headline from Detroit:

5) Are we going to war with Iran this week? Anyone know?

6) This is old news by now, but check out the pictures and consider: This photographer did his job while a gunman was shooting at him. #EnemyOfThePeople, right?

Into the weekend we lurch. Stay on your feet, people. You never know what’s going to happen.

Posted at 9:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 28 Comments
 

Too much about vacuums.

A productive weekend, all things considered. Nothing like all-weekend clouds and rain to get your errands run. Grocery, dry cleaner, drugstore and — because the weather was at least warmish on Saturday — a bicycle run to handle those chores that never seem to get done, like a stop at the vacuum store to get bags. I got two packages of three, which means I won’t have to do this one again for quite some time, nor make small talk about my Kenmore vacuum, and the declining quality of the old Sears brands.

I also started a new novel — about which I’ll have more to say, once I finish it, but it was written by an infrequent member of our commenting community — and did some yoga on the bedroom floor. Got up covered with dog hair, so I vacuumed, but with the upstairs vacuum, which doesn’t use bags (a Dyson, bought secondhand, and a steal).

Why not take the upstairs vacuum downstairs, you might ask? Because I like the downstairs vacuum, too, and it’s kinda heavy, so a pain to lug up and down the stairs. When a friend offered to sell me her recently restored super-lightweight Dyson for a very good price, well, no-brainer. My upstairs rugs are cleaner than ever, but I still have a dog that sheds.

I live in a community where people have second-floor laundry rooms, master suites with wet bars and fireplaces, spare bedrooms converted into closets with dress forms to rehearse outfit combinations and all sorts of luxury foofrahs. I refuse to feel guilty for having two vacuums.

(Jeff Borden has a bedroom-turned-closet, said the tattletale. He calls it “Imelda’s Room,” and I totally approve. They don’t have kids, and when you can see everything you own, clothing-wise, you get more wear out of it.)

In a while I will finish this blog and paint my toenails, and my weekend chore list will be over. I just got a call from a pollster, testing my attitude toward the 2020 U.S. Senate race here, as well as the presidency. I portrayed myself as an independent of moderate political attitudes who wants Joe Biden to reconsider how he wants tp spend the latter years of his eighth decade.

(Now Wendy, sleeping next to me, is having a dream. Her hackles are raised, and she is wagging her tail furiously. This must be some kinda dream. Maybe a pollster called her subconscious.)

So on to bloggage, so I can get back to my book:

I’m not a fan of online video, but in 60 seconds, you can learn everything you need to know about Marianne Williamson. And then never think about her again.

Starts strong, finishes weak, but if you like snark: The Man Who Was Upset, an essay about oh-god-of-course-you-know-who:

The thing about impressiveness, however, is that it resides entirely in the eye of the beholder—and in Trump’s case, he typically invokes it in a crass gambit to annex and manipulate the inner workings of that beholder’s eye and generate maximum ego-gratification for himself. As with most things Trump-related, the form that this ascriptive impressiveness takes can be mapped with laughable ease over whatever failing he is most keen to conceal at that moment. When his marriage was falling apart on the front pages of New York City tabloids, Trump called the editor of the New York Post to vouch, on behalf of his then-girlfriend Marla Maples, that “Marla says with me it’s the best sex she’s ever had.” During his years in the cultural wilderness, Trump reportedly made it a stipulation for film productions that wished to shoot in the properties that he owned that there be a scene in which Trump himself appeared. “Martin Brest had to write something in Scent of a Woman,” Matt Damon told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “And the whole crew was in on it. You have to waste an hour of your day with a bullshit shot. Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino’s like, ‘Hello, Mr. Trump!’—you had to call him by name—and then he exits.”


In 1991, as his divorce and a series of pyrotechnically misconceived business ventures ushered in the beginning of his long tour through our popular culture as an overleveraged punch line, Trump went ahead and just spelled his super-hero aspirations out. The story Trump told the New York Daily News was this: While driving to a Paula Abdul concert in New Jersey with Maples and another couple, Trump had seen “a big man with a big bat” committing a “brutal-looking” mugging. In Trump’s telling, he ordered his limo driver to stop and got out of the vehicle. “The guy with the bat looked at me, and I said, ‘Look, you’ve gotta stop this. Put down the bat,’“ Trump told the Daily News. “I guess he recognized me because he said, ‘Mr. Trump, I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘How could you not do anything wrong when you’re whacking a guy with a bat?’ Then he ran away.”

How does a 25-year-old hairstylist clear a quarter-mil a year? This way. I respect the guy; I certainly wouldn’t pay $2,000 for hair extensions, but someone will, and he’s found enough to make it work for him. But this line blew me away:

He studied at Paul Mitchell The School in Sterling Heights on Van Dyke Avenue, near 18 Mile Road. It was about $22,000 total in 2011 for a 10-month program, he said.

That’s cosmetology school, mind you. He started out making $30,000 a year, and I’ll bet almost all of his classmates never go all that much higher. Talk about highway robbery.

Happy week ahead, all. Off to paint my nails.

Posted at 4:23 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 62 Comments
 

The gang will all be here.

Because I know you’ve all been on pins and needles: The battery surgery was a resounding success, in fact, quite simple. Made all that running around after a professional fix pretty stupid, in hindsight. Yesterday and today I am calibrating the new battery, which means I let it run all the way down and charge it all the way up, and then it’s more or less broken in.

Current status: 24 percent, running down steadily. Let’s hope it continues.

How’s your crazy life at midweek? We learned today that the DNC debate here next month — July 30-31 — will have a complement of 20 count ’em 20 candidates. And they are, via USA Today to the Freep to Deadline Detroit:

(Those meeting both the 1 percent-polling and 65,000-individual-donors thresholds are) former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; entrepreneur Andrew Yang of New York; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; former HUD Secretary Julian Castro of Texas; Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee, and activist Marianne Williamson.

In addition, Politico reported that that seven other candidates have met the 1 percent polling threshold:

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.

Marianne Williamson? Andrew Yang? Eric Swalwell? What a field. I’m assuming most will be gone by Christmas, but in the meantime, it’ll be one wacky two-day spell in the D later this summer.

Trying to think of some story ideas around that now. I keep coming back to: Get Bernie Sanders to the Old Miami. (It’s a bar near Wayne State with a big back yard.)

Are bar yards a thing where you are? It’s weird — lots and lots of bars here have them, and I’m not talking about patios, but back-yard hangout spaces, and they predate the smoking ban, so I’m not sure why that is. In nice weather, they’re glorious; the best ones aren’t really “developed” in the traditional sense of having service or anything — just a couple of picnic tables to sit at if you’re so inclined, and just get away from the hurly-burly inside. Although some are quite large, and clustered seating areas tend to happen. Like at the Old Miami. I think Bernie should go there and declaim, see who gathers round.

So, some quick bloggage? Whatever:

Arizona jury hangs rather than convict a teacher accused of giving water, food and lodging to two migrants illegally crossing the border. Interesting.

A tiny crack in the wall of I CAN’T HEAR YOU NAH NAH NAH:

Listen, I don’t have any use for either Donny or Bette. I don’t agree with their politics, I have always been confused at their relative popularity and celebrity status, and don’t doubt for a second that they were unfairly criticizing the president before he retaliated on Twitter.

But none of that justifies the President of the United States of America using his unrivaled platform and bully pulpit to…well…bully American citizens who may disagree with him. When has that ever been okay? I am firmly of the belief that President Obama stoked an immense amount of division needlessly during his time in office, and have even written recently that our only hope of unity in this country requires that he go away.

But President Obama was not rage-tweeting in the wee hours of the morning, calling his critics “total losers” and “washed up psychos” from his official platform. If he had, the right would have rightly condemned him for violating decency norms and the standard expectations of dignity for those holding the office of President. It disappoints me beyond words to see so many of those same folks actually enjoying and applauding President Trump’s decimation of those norms and expectations all in the name of political payback.

Cry me a river, dumbass. You made this bed. Lie in it. “Firmly of the belief,” are you? Tough.

Finally, influencers! The wacky things they do:

With that, I’m off to attack Wednesday. Enjoy yours.

Posted at 9:35 pm in Detroit life | 66 Comments