Chatological Humor (September 24)

Sep 24, 2019

You asked for it and you got it. Gene will now be holding weekly mini-chats, where he takes your questions about what's happening in the country — and anything else you want to discuss.

Here is this week's poll.

Good afternoon. 

Every once in a while, my good friend Christine Lavin, the folksinger, sends me a new song of hers, one she has not yet released.  Sometimes she does this for fun, sometimes to get feedback; at times I have suggested changes in lyrics, which, at times, she has used.   Yesterday Christine  sent me a new song of hers, and it is a song the likes of which I haven't seen before.  Many folksingers try to get things done with their work: end racism, eliminate land mines, feed the hungry, part the seas, etc.   But few try to get things done quite as specifically and explicitly and do-ably as this one.   Christine is trying to set up a friend of hers with Clint Eastwood. Period.  That's it.  That's the purpose of the song.  I want to emphasize that it is not a joke song about trying to hook a friend of hers up with Clint Eastwood: She Is Trying To Hook A Friend of Hers Up With Clint Eastwood, and using this song to do it. 

It's not sleazy.  The friend, Mary, is a goldsmith and all Mary wants to do is make a pair of cufflinks for Cliff, and, um, present them to him.  The rest is whatever happens to happen afterwards.  Clint is 89, by the way.  Mary is in her 40s.  She has a monster crush on Clint and has for years.  It was a quiet, desperate, destined-to-be-unrequited crush, until she met Christine Lavin.   

Christine doesn't know Clint but they do have a mutual friend in the actor Jeff Daniels, so he's in the song, too.  It's not entirely clear, but if Clint bites at this offer, there appear to be tickets waiting for Clint to see Daniels in "To Kill a Mockingbird," now on Broadway, where Jeff plays Atticus Finch.  Look, whatever works. 

And so, this, right here, is literally the world premiere of "Ode to Clint Eastwood."  You are getting it first.  My guess is that however successful it is at its primary mission, Ode to Clint will be on Christine's next album. 

Psst, Clint: There are a LOT of pictures of Mary in the video. She is adorable.   

As it happens, "To Kill a Mockingbird" offers a brilliant segue to the next item in this introduction.   Many of you may remember the very first appearance of Buster the Cat in my column.   It was here, when Buster killed a mockingbird, and Buster and his guy, my neighbor Tom, had to pay the price.  

Buster's second appearance was even more dramatic, when I used him to explain the collapse of my marriage.   (Okay, this is getting dramatic.  It will get more dramatic.)

About 14 days ago, Buster didn't show up for a meal.  Then he didn't show up the next day or the day after that.  I called my daughter, Molly, in Africa, where she now lives, to tell her that Buster had probably died.   Buster does not miss meals. 

I live in a NE DC neighborhood called Kingman Park.  Buster is a stray, the unofficial Mayor of Kingman Park.   I am his principal caretaker and chef, but everyone knows Buster.  One day not many months ago, a community website had a well-intentioned posting by a new resident.  She had found this cat, and "rescued" him into her home, and was posting his photo and her intention to bring him to the pound for his own safety.  Alerts poured in by the dozens!  DO NOT BRING THAT CAT TO THE POUND.  THAT IS BUSTER AND HE CAN TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF.  THERE IS AN OLDER MAN WHO TAKES CARE OF HIM, TOO, AND BUSTER GOES ON WALKS WITH HIM AND HIS DOG.  (yes, sigh, I am the older man.  The dog is Murphy.)

On day four, Rachel was coming home from work, and heard a faint and plaintive meow from a nearby front yard.  It was Buster.  He seemed to be trapped in the yard, which had a chain link fence around it.  This was bizarre: The fence was about four feet high.   Buster has been able to leap 7 foot fences.  But he was trapped behind this one.  The reason was obvious. (Alert, reader: We are linking here to a photo you might find disturbing.  Feel free not to click on it.)  He had a huge hole in his chest. 

It was about the width of a nickel, and about the depth of a nickel, if you spun it.   It had come distressingly close to his heart.  It did not look like a bite.  It looked like what might have happened if Buster leapt for the top of a 7 foot fence, didn't quite make it, and had a bit of exposed metal rip him apart as he fell. 

Why was Buster in this yard?  Prepare to have your uteruses, or your male equivalents, burst.    This was Tom's house (remember Tom from a few paragraphs above?) .  Several years ago, before I lived in this neighborhood, Buster fell ill with a lung disease.   Molly, the vet, who WAS living in the nabe, diagnosed it, and went to Tom, who was the guy who was feeding Buster.   She told him that Buster was really sick, and that he had to take him in for the winter, or Buster would die.   (Molly could not do it.  She had animals of her own, and you cannot introduce the germs of an outdoor cat to your indoor cats.)  Tom never wanted an indoor cat, but he was a fine man, and he took Buster in for the winter, and Buster survived. 

So it is to Tom's house that Buster went, with the hole in his chest.  It was the house where they fixed things. Unfortunately, Tom moved away two years ago, and his home was boarded up.  Buster apparently stayed in the yard, in the deep weeds, for two days, and finally decided Tom was not coming back.  Which is when he meowed. 

So.  (This is almost over.)   Buster decided he was either going to die or ask someone else for help.  He chose Rachel.  We got Buster to Union Veterinary Clinic  on Second Street, a few blocks from the Supreme Court, where they handled his case splendidly.   Operation.   Return to us.  Eleven days in our house, with a cone, and where Buster earned a new name, "Bonkster," because he kept walking around bonking that cone on everything.   He got constant rear-ear skritchings, something that scared cats need a lot of. 

And then yesterday, he got his stitches removed and he was good to go.   And it was JUST FINE.   After a few important skritchings, we let him out the front door.  For a while, he stayed on the porch, uncertain of what to do.  Go?  Stay?  We closed the door, and went back inside.  Five minutes later we opened the door, and he was in the next door neighbor's front porch, looking at our door.   We closed the door. 

Ten minutes later, Rachel went outside, then came back in. 

"He's gone," she said.  

"Good," I said. 

"Good," she said. 

"Yay," I said. 

"Yay," she said.

Yay. 

--

Okay!  I am sorry if that seemed to exploitate your emotions.  There was really no way to preventate that from happening. 

What?  Did you not like those two sentences?   Did they sound like they were written by an idiot?  Then why do you write "exploitative" and "preventative"?   The words are exploitive and preventive.   Stop being illiterate.  Thanks! 

We start at noon sharp. 

The House must impeach Trump, not only because the crimes he's committed so far are egregious, but because as long as he's left unchecked he'll continue finding worse things to do. And while it's hard to imagine how it could get worse than pressuring a foreign country to interfere in our election on his behalf, we've seen that there is no bottom to Trump's corruption.

Well, you cannot impeach preemptively.   I have moved over to the impeach column, but it is scary territory.   History will judge you.   Consider that one of the two impeachments in history -- Andrew Johnson's -- happened because Johnson had had the effrontery to try to replace his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, overriding a law that congress had recently passed that he, Johnson, had vetoed.  Seems pretty slim, historically!  Doesn't seem to hold up to the gravity of the event. 

Not the same here, I think.  But it's a grave step. 

I picked option 2, because of course the Ukraine thing (if true) is an impeachable offense. But of course the Senate won't convict, so by doing what is morally right we may be handing Der Gropenführer a ticket to four more years. Regardless, I'm not going to say politics should trump (sorry) what's morally right. But it scares me.

I'm pretty sure the senate would never convict -- they are appallingly corrupted by Trump -- but I'm not sure the result would work in Trump's favor.  It might do just the opposite.  It would force all senatorial Republicans to come out of duck-and-cover and declare that this behavior is okay.  And it might well uncover more malfeasances. 

Every day, I'm troubled by the willingness of Republicans to ignore what is ethical and right, and to sacrifice what used to be their principles for the sake of their leader (and, they apparently believe, the sake of their party.) How could I then say that while impeachment is the ethically necessary choice, it shouldn't be the one Democrats pursue because it would hurt them politically?

Because that is a reasonable and even morally consistent position, if you believe it.  There is one goal at this point, for the true patriot, and it is not philosophical.  It is strategic, period. 

Here's my theory on impeachment and why Pelosi hasn't started. 1. Impeachment lasts....6 months? A year? If you start now, you're done by the election...which, given short attention spans, is overplaying it. You want to be knee-deep in the muck when the election rolls around. 2. Has every Democrat publicly signed on? Pelosi is not taking that ship out until she knows that every.single.one is onboard. They're all up for election and she cannot afford flim-flammers who wave at the dock in order to save their political hide. I think she's working on #2 behind the scenes and waiting on #1. I think she's too politically savvy to have completely waived off impeachment. And, she's been doing this long enough that a few months of screaming and insults are fine for the long-run. Thoughts?

Could be.  I have stopped trying to guess her.  She is smarter than I am.   She is beginning to look like a weakling.  I don't think she's a weakling.   She's got a plan.  I hope. 

Why is "orientation" okay though? (To be clear, the British "orientate" drives me up a tree.)

Because "oriention" makes no sense.  

Commentate. As in what a commentator does, frequently on a sporting event. Sigh.

Even that makes more sense, since one is a "commentator," not a "commenter."

Also, my biggest:  Please could someone who says "nego-SEE-ate" please defend that pronunciation.  I will give you all the time you need, you moron. 

Why wouldn't you simply use "exploit"?

Please read one sentence further. 

If the House goes ahead with Impeachment, aren't they just martyring DT? Which would rile up his easily-riled base? And send them over the edge and directly to the polls? Isn't it better to let DT die a death of 1000 cuts and get the Left and Center over the edge and to the polls?

It is the question of the day.  

URGENT:  I am currently eating what might be the best cheese on Earth:  Three-cream savarin.   My God.  It is like a super brie. 

I read that the Senate trial isn't optional, so while McConnell can slow-walk it, there would be pressure on him to hold at least a show trial. Then again, he seems not to have made the decent choice at any step over the last decade. If there is a trial, all senators would have to go on record as pro or con, and that could possibly be the tipping point.

Well, I don't think they'll tip, but they'll be forced to self-identify as scoundrels. 

I spend, what I would estimate, about 2 hours each day reading the Washington Post and online chats. My husband would probably say this might be an underestimation. Is this too much? What is average? I kind of want to say this is too much real life and I should mix some fun stuff in, but I love all these chats! Plus in the days of Orange Blob in the White House, there's always some drama going on, so it's like watching a soap opera from my office.

Two hours seems right to me!  And consider the cost, and decide whether this is simply the best deal on the planet. 

Do you use "howdy" as a regular greeting? I grew up in a rural community in AZ and I use it regularly, but have found that most people think I'm being sarcastic or funny, now that I live in the Pacific NW. I've spent way too much time considering this quirk: I have investigated and in my social circle, most of the folks my age say "hey" and my dad says "howdy" and so do just a couple of his friends, so it could be a generational thing for that area. No one from my current Washington state crowd says it. I'm interested to hear what your thoughts are on its usage.

Howdy.   I use it mostly to be silly, and distinctive.   Hi seems bland and hey seems ordinary and greetings, which I have used, seems excessively self-mocking.  Salutations is absurd. ' Sup is pretentious and too-young sounding.  Howdy is sort of by default.  Dumb but self-aware as dumb.  

Assuming Trump is re-elected (as I believe he will be), which countries are you considering for your new home? Serious question, I'm genuinely curious which factors you're considering in making your choice.

I think it would depend on available opportunities, you know?  I think I'd consider any democratic country that is not in the thrall of idiot nationalism.  I would hope Rachel will move with me, so she has an equal vote.   My God, what if she wants Syria?

I was appalled at the commentor that didn't wet his tooth brush before brushing. Was he raised by wolves? However, I tried it. Less foamy, yes, but seems more abrasive and have now begun doing it. Good bye Tea stains.

Noted. 

Am I correct in understanding from last weeks chat that men wipe by reaching back around their buttocks?? Who are these monkey-armed people?

Not to my knowledge.   Side.   Via the side. 

As a connoisseur of juvenile humor, you may already be aware of this, but if not, please go to Google maps and enter "Legacy Park, Brambleton, Virginia. My question is -- do you think this was deliberate on the part of community planners, or could it possibly be an accident?

Okay, it is very funny.  I'd not heard of this. 

Given Trump's daily flouting of norms, in addition to what seems to be his advancing dementia, I would put money on his refusing to debate his opponent in the general election. His base won't care, and he might have the election locked up anyway due to various forms of cheating. What do you think - will he agree to participate in the debates?

Yes, I think so.  He has a megalomaniac's belief in his own forensic "skills."

Not sure why, but I think I value your input on this question. I am an almost 29 year old female. Until 3 years ago, I had absolutely no dating/romantic experience. And I mean none, if you catch my drift. Then I felt brave or curious or some combination of the two and tried a few of the apps. Had a few great first dates and a couple less than invigorating second dates and I ended the experiment. Now 3 years down the road with a graduate degree, mortgage and dog to my name, I have some of the outward trappings of a full life but find myself feeling ever more lonely and unfulfilled. I’m not exactly convinced that a relationship is what I need or want and that’s not the question here. What I’m wondering is whether it’s likely that there’s an age-appropriate male out there (within reason, geographically) who would be willing to take a chance on someone with no experience with relationships or intimacy. And how would I even go about broaching that?

I am touched by your confidence in me, but I suspect I am inept at this.  Anyone less inept willing to weigh in?

Is Trump actually trying to destroy the country, or does he just not care what happens while he lines his pockets and massages his fragile ego?

The second.   I think if he could incidentally help the country, he might be happy to do so.  The problem is, I don't think he has a clue as to what might help the country.  It's nothing he's thought about. 

My wonderful, loving dad is in his 70s and completely with it - still working in a high-powered career. He has been living with his partner for more than 10 years. Almost every time I speak with my dad commends, he on frustrations with her hoarding tendencies (she younger than him, also mentally sharp and employed, though hoarding unworn clothing, periodicals and packaging material ain't exactly a sign of tip top mental health). Several years ago, they were evicted from their apartment due to a cockroach infestation. After an initial visit shortly after they moved into a house, which I found lovely and welcoming, I have not been invited back bc he feels it would upset me to see the current condition of the place. Dad just told me that in addition to cockroaches, they now have mice in the house. I said, guess it's time to call an exterminator. He said he wants to but GF isn't ready. She needs to filter through all her piles before an exterminator can come. I suggested he go ahead and call against her wishes and maybe, you know, just not tell her. I told him I feel strongly about this bc a roach and rodent infestation is a health and hygiene issue for him. He said, yep, it is, but he's not going to call until it's okay with her. It kills me to think of him living in filth. But, of course, it's his life to lead as he chooses. He is an admitted germaphobe, making this even more puzzling. Do you have suggestions on convincing him to get an exterminator or do I need to learn to listen to him describe the roaches and rodents and sympathize but stay out of it?

Whoa.  Well, I confess this is a problem we've never dealt with here, as a group. 

I don't know.   If this were destroying his life in a tangible way (losing job, losing relationship, losing income) the answer would be more apparent.  

Anyone?

A list of the valid reasons for which Rumpelthinskin should be impeached would be as long as the case against George III delineated in the Declaration of Independence. It's not even one of them, but his post-election celebration included paying $25 million to settle 3 lawsuits because his "university" was a fraud. Uh, that was a subtle hint as to his fitness for office, no? What do law-and-order Republicans not get about that?

They don't get that there is any good greater than what is good for the persistence of the Republican Party.

Every day the President does something else horrible I am convinced he will be re-elected. You are often very right, but you were absolutely wrong about the attitude inside the voting booth last time. You proffered that when alone in the booth, the person who agreed in public with their Trump loving friends, they would silently vote for Clinton. The exact opposite happened. People (mainly white women) echoed the sentiment in their circles about how bad Trump was, but when alone they voted for Trump because he was going to keep those immigrants and bad POC away from our kids soccer games. We are wealthy enough that if our daughters ever need an abortion we will help them get one, so the SCOTUS does not really matter to us on a personal level. Do not ever underestimate how racist this country is and how little republicans (and to a slightly lesser extent, democrats) care about anything other than power. A democratic popular vote win and electoral college loss is the most likely occurrence. 2020 will be eerily similar to 2016.

What you are saying is chilling, obviously.   It is cynical and deeply depressing and familiar and very likely true. 

I just can't see how ridding the U.S. of the stupidest and most venal person ever to hold public office would make him a martyr.

Well, because the impeachment itself is unlikely to work.  it will be a stunt.  the question is, will it be an effective stunt?

I feel like I am aging double the normal number of years in his presidency. But the one thing I want more than that, is to be absolutely sure he is never president with a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. He is a menace with just the powers of the presidency. If his evil crew could legislate as well...I don't even want to think about it. If Nancy thinks she has to slow walk this to keep the House, then we let her. She doesn't care about looking weak. She isn't going to run for president, so who cares? She is the mom who says you can blame her when you refuse to get in a car with people who were drinking in high school. And we do need it.

I like this analysis.  

I honestly don't understand why so many people are afraid of impeaching an obviously lawless president. How would this be politically unwise? If the Dems are afraid of losing, I'd guess there's a better chance of that if they fail to impeach and depress their own turnout as a result. We're the majority. It's a matter of turning out the vote. Period. Trump's cultists are going to go out an vote for him. But if the Dems can show his crimes (and people actually pay attention) it's even possible that more of those who decided to let Trump have a chance will be even more turned off by him.

I have come to believe that is true. 

I think the key is what percent of the electorate feels that Trump just can't get a break.   That he is being hounded.   If the Dems push impeachment, they need a case that convinces a broad middle swath .  

I have stopped reading Dilbert since I've learned that Scott Adams is basically a jerk, but I couldn't help noticing the different look of the strip today. What gives? Is someone else drawing it? Is it a tribute to something or someone (I know cartoonists do that occasionally)?

Hm.  Near as I can tell, this week's Dilberts, while still being writ by Scott Adams, are drawn by Jake Tapper.  A stunt, the proceeds of which go to charity. 

Cohen's retirement column made me think that all retired Post employees should gather together and create a 'truth forum' web site or 'science facts in the news today' column. Name it "Ex-Post Facto".

Thank you.  

By the way, I was a fan of Cohen.   I think he had something too few op-edders have: A background in writing and reporting, not just opining.   The man could put together a sentence. 

Yes, you can take issue with WHAT he wrote, but he tended to write it elegantly.   

We all know the reason the Repubs don't want DC to have statehood but what about the 64% of the people that said they didn't support it? And what about the poll that was done earlier that showed about the same percentage but when people were told that US citizens in DC were being taxed without representation the opposition to statehood became a minority vote. How come the latest poll didn't do that or mention it?

This is a good question.  

Is it that so many of DC's residents are black?  Can it be that systemically awful?  

You're friends with Christine Lavin? That's awesome! I try to see her in concert every chance I can get! Not trying to meet her outside the concert scene. Just admiring the company you keep.

Chris and I are old friends.  I once considered marrying her, but I had not met her yet, and decided I had no shot, anyway. 

Interesting method to get Clint's attention but what I found interesting in the video is Mary's last name was blanked out about 2 or 3 times. Problem with the internet is it took me literally 5 seconds to find her webpage which has her last name (neither of which I'm including here).

Thank you.  I think Christine was hold onto "Marry ME" pretty closely for the song, which was wise. 

Jerk, or suffering from CTE?

Jerk.  

Watching Pompeo and his sidekick the other day I realized I don't know the correct plural form for comb over. Comb overs or combs over?

It will probably help you to know combover is one word. 

Have you read this? it makes perfect sense that sexual harassers have a feeling of entitlement that makes them prone to other ethical violations. 

This is fascinating.  The Al Capone Theory of Sexual Harassment.   If you can't get him on groping, get him on grifting.  I like it. 

While I grew up wetting the toothbrush before applying paste, I eventually learned that not doing so allowed the undiluted paste to do a better polishing job and was much less likely to end with toothpaste sprayed on mirror and basin or dribbled down one's chin onto one's clean shirt.

This stuns me but will try it. 

Gene, I'm wondering what you think about the story on Biden and trying to overcome Trump etc.'s false attacks? https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-trumps-attacks-against-biden-democrats-see-a-worrisome-reprise-of-2016/2019/09/23/0dfca592-dda4-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html Considering the research that shows that facts don't change people's minds, and how the falsehoods fly faster than ever these days, is there a way to overcome the alternate reality some people live in, or do we just write them off?

I don't know how to respond except in a nuclear fission -- er, fashion -- and I do think that plays to Trump's vicious, street-brawl, lowest common denominator -- base.  I mean, what should Biden say about Trump saying he deserves the electric chair?  Seriously, how do you respond to that? 

Carolyn Hax, than whom no one is more ept, says to volunteer or join clubs that reflect your interest, and you will enjoy it and possibly meet someone there.

Noted. 

Saturday takes the longest to read because of the Free for all section. Inside baseball question...do any of the letters questioning word usage (this week it was "openly gay") result in memos to writers to avoid words and phrases? The letter writers often have a good point.

I LOVE Free for All.   Over the years, it has been edited by some people who have excellently dry senses of humor.  

The Post is not big on word rules.   And I think its attitude toward Free for All, in general, is:  These quibblers are mostly correct.  Let em quibble.  It's funny and instructive and sometimes a little embarrassing.  But let us move on from this. 

"Simplistic" when they should say "simple." (this happens in sports commentary a lot). "Resiliency" instead of "resilience." "Expediency" instead of "expedience."

One of the most giant errors, and I was guilty of it for years, is to say a book is "entitled" To Kill a Mockingbird, or whatever.  I was using it into my 4os, I think, until embarrassed by one day's Frazz.  

What is the lead time for submitting comics before publication. Specifically, I'm wondering if Stephan Pastis anticipated or was reacting to Shane Gillis' firing from SNL in this past Sunday's Pearl Before Swine.

Probably not.   The Sunday deadline is usually 5-6 weeks.  

I know this is a not a good or even defensible reason, really, but one reason I don't support DC or PR statehood is because we have an even 50 states and that's a good, solid, easy number. I know. I'm dumb.

You might be! 

For the chatter with the hoarding family, there is likely a local agency that can assist directing you to resources. In my county, there is even a taskforce. Brace yourself, this will be a long process and best of luck to you. Been there, done that, hired a hazmat company to assist.

But don't they have to agree to be helped?

So many people seem to have liked the Express (I usually didn't take it because I had the real thing in my bag- the Post) I wonder if the powers that be ever thought about charging for it? I bet at least some people would be fine with giving 25 cents for it. Or they could do like some restaurants have done- pay what you can. Or is that too much trouble to keep 75 people employed?

It's very hard to charge for something that was once free.   I really miss the Express.  I used to walk on the Metro knowing I'd find a copy.   I walked on the other day, looked around, and thought "oh s---."   Actually, I didn't think in hyphens. 

I think Trump needs to be impeached but voted that Congress should not do it. While that seems contradictory on it's surface, it really isn't. In the business world, we always ask, What is The Objective? Sometimes we have to keep asking that basic question over and over again because you start going down too many rabbit holes. The Objective is to get Trump out of office. Every action must be done with that in mind. In a normal world, where Presidents actually care about their legacy and how history will treat them, this one does not, so impeachment by the House with no conviction in the Senate will not change his behavior. In fact, he would use that to say, "I was found innocent!" just like the "no collusion!" So, how does impeachment further The Objective? I don't see how it does. Further, I see that it even HINDERS The Objective. Even though I believe it's justified, Trump has been in one sh!tstorm or another since day one. Voters in the center are getting overly fatigued with the constant barrage of Trump "scandals" and some are starting to think that it really is a witch hunt. We need all the center-left, center-right and independent voters we can get in order to meet The Objective. No impeachment. Concentrate on voting him the hell out.

Well, that succinctly describes your position.  Many disagree.

It is not the intensive of "center."

True.  

Whistleblower? Pelosi? Justice Roberts?

It's gonna be a Republican, I think.  Possibly someone whose name you do not know.  

So pathetic that Trump dissed Greta while his own son Baron apparently is also on the spectrum and his wife is supposedly against bullying children. Greta’s look of utter contempt for him should become iconic.

Oh, I think it will be.  

Even if someone is writing her stuff -- and I have no reason to believe that -- she is magnificent.  Her line about not wanting people to listen to HER ... wow.   

.... but if we admitted both PR and DC as states, we'd have one state for every week in the year...

The only way we'd admit DC and PR together is if the GOP feels PR is likely a Republican state.   Which it might be. 

First, I don't think that her lack of romantic experience is a deal-breaker for OP, although I would not lead with that information on a first date. What is OP's social circle like? It seems like many people find romantic connections through friends-of-friends. Or, maybe OP can make connections through groups like Meetup or other groups where she will share interests with other members. Fundamentally, though, she will need to spend time putting herself out there. She "ended the experiment" of online dating after only a couple of dates. That's not much exposure or data to base ending an experiment on. And if forming connections is an ongoing problem, perhaps a few therapy sessions can help her find a path forward. Good luck! And don't forget about Date Lab!

Date Lab is a great idea!  OP, make sure you mention this chat when you contact them.  

Your colleague Henry Olsen said that the Ukraine thing does seem to be bad - too bad the media had been relentlessly attacking Trump since he was elected so now that there is something that seems real, no one will hear it. I disagree - I think there has been a lot of reasons to investigate Trump, this one just seems to be the most egregious. Do you agree or do you think that if the media had been silent about Trump (except just blandly reporting facts like "The President attended the UN summit today") that reporting about this would have sufficiently alarmed those not already alarmed?

Believe it or not, I think that the media has been largely fair to Trump, bending over backwards at times to normalize him.  

It was preivously a tradition for presidential administrations not to pursue charges for the wrongdoing of past administrations (eg the Nixon pardon, the lack of charges against the torturers in the CIA). Do you think whoever follows Trump will let him fade into irrelevance or bring the full extent of his and his enablers activities to light?

It may depend on how Trump comports himself during The Final Days.   Seriously. 

My wife and I said goodbye to our cat yesterday evening. It was terribly difficult, and we cried endlessly as we felt racked with guilt even though we talked it through with the vet, and the extraordinary measures would not likely have made a difference. And it's not a way to choose a vet, but finding out that they had a "comfort room" for the process made what could otherwise have seemed sterile and emotionless as beautiful of an end as we could have wanted.

There are worse ways to choose a vet.   Molly would sit with the client during and after the euthanasia.   This is nothing you can even pay for: The vet either gives you that, or not.   And it is not a bad criterion at all: A vet with a heart.  

My friends and I are convince that the leaker is John Bolton, as a final F U to POTUS.

Could be! 

a book entitled "To Kill a Mockingbird." Nothing wrong with that (look at any good dictionary). It's old-fashioned but not incorrect.

Forget the dics.  It's ridiculous. 

I think DC is too small to be a state. But I don't understand why reuniting it with Maryland is so rarely mentioned as an option.

Then we have to de-state Wyoming, which is smaller than DC in population.   Also, Vermont, I think.  Bernie and Cheney would be upset. 

I just want to say to the 29-year-old that I (female) was a virgin until my early 30s. I had decided that when I hit 35 I would hire someone to deflower me because going with a professional seemed possibly easier, maybe by going to Europe to do it. I had even started doing some Internet searching, and then I met the man who became my husband and everything worked itself out! I think it will for you too. There are some normal, nice men out there.

Thank you.  

NO TO DATE LAB!! I was selected for it and it was a horrible experience. The date itself was fine (didn’t go anywhere, no harm, no foul) but the commenters were HORRIBLE towards me. Body shamed me, called me a “moon face”, said the reason we didn’t go on a second date was because I was obviously too fat for him (btw I was about 120lbs at the time, NOT AS IF THAT MATTERS.) I would take it back in a heartbeat because of how I felt and still feel (and it’s been over a decade.). No to Date Lab. People are too mean.

I am always amazed at how mean the DATERS are willing to be to each other. 

Mike Pence. The best reason NOT to impeach Resident Rump.

Only if you think he can win the general election. 

Okay, we are out on this. 

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Gene Weingarten
Gene Weingarten is the humor writer for The Washington Post. His column, Below the Beltway, has appeared weekly in the Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000 and has been distributed nationwide on The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.

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