Sunday, October 23, 2016

Charles P. Pierce on the Likely Aftermath Within the GOP Zoological Insane Asylum Following the Impending Trumpocalypse

Kokomo the gorilla and her newborn, as-yet-unnamed baby daughter at the San Diego Zoo this past week.

Kokomo is a six-time mom -- including having given birth to twins in 1999 when she was at the Oklahoma City Zoo.


Meanwhile, related to happenings at the GOP Zoological Insane Asylum and ahead of the impending Trumpocalypse, this Charles P. Pierce piece needs to be excerpted ...

The Republican effort to rebuild itself from the looming catastrophe that is its 2016 presidential nominee is already underway. There will be no serious introspection, no thoughtful critique that 30 years of voodoo economics and Bible-banging authoritarianism, combined with hundreds of thousands of hours of unbridled lunacy on the radio, produced a Republican electorate with a jones for snake-oil stronger than Joe McCarthy's was for cheap whiskey.

Just today, for example, Squint's own mothership network produced a poll that fairly well refuted his argument. From NBC News:

This sentiment was stronger among Republicans, suggesting that Trump's message is getting through to a sizable number of his party's constituents. Among Republican and Republican-leaning likely voters, 45 percent said they might not accept the election as legitimate if their candidate doesn't win, including 18 percent who said they would definitely not accept the outcome. A majority of Republicans -- 53 percent -- said they would accept the results of the election if their candidate loses.

This is not "partisanship." This is not an indicator of our "divided nation." This is not a problem that "both sides" need to fix. This is the end result on a democracy of one political party deliberately cultivating paranoia and ignorance to gain the political advantage. It's nothing new. It's a political strategy as old as democracy itself.

Plato wrote, "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by fools." Mr. Madison, who read Plato and understood the hell out of what he read, famously wrote, "A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both." God knows we've seen the farce. The object now is to avert the tragedy, and the one way to do that is not to wave off the Trump phenomenon as a one-off trick of political nature -- a freak May snowstorm that came upon the lovely garden of the Republican intellect. It has been a steady blizzard of nonsense for going on four decades...

If Paul Ryan is going to be the person who puts the party back together, then the party's platform is going to be privatizing Social Security, voucherizing Medicare, a further investment in the ridiculous notion of supply-side economics, the deregulation on the federal level of just about everything from the stock market to canned tuna, the sell-off and pillage of public lands, the revival of block-grants so that the governors and state legislatures can have a feeding frenzy on the federal tab, and the continued refusal to do anything about the climate crisis.

But Paul Ryan has never advised anyone to grab someone by the pussy, so that makes him Pericles, I guess.


Good stuff.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for Oct. 22nd, 2016: The Whistling, Part-Time, and Pulled Love Edition

I had a lot of trouble putting together this edition of Jukebox Saturday Night and I'm not that thrilled with how it came together.

Having said that, first up, a nice smooth jazz instrumental by the jazz quartet Fourplay ...

"The Whistler" by Fourplay from their Energy release (2008)


"Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder from his In Square Circle album (1985)


And for the finale, here is a nice song that I like (and just came across while looking for one):

"Don't Pull Your Love" by the soft rock trio Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds from their self-titled album (1971)

The video -- featuring random images of what looks like the Los Angeles area from 20+ years ago as well as New York City and just the open road -- isn't exactly topically related to the song, but oh, well...


OK, that's all for now. As I mentioned in my previous entry, my next posting will not be until late Monday or early Tuesday.


Saturday Evening Post for October 22nd, 2016: Blustery Night Outside, Fatigued Inside Edition

**This entry was posted October 22, 2016.**

The Sun and stratocumulus clouds in the sky as seen above Wakefield Hall, 15th St and New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:21PM October 22, 2016.


I'm having difficulty tonight putting together a jukebox Saturday edition simply because I can't think of any songs I would like to post. In addition, I'm very tired -- fatigued even, at least in part because I had a full, multi-part gym workout earlier today.

True, I went out last night after staying late at work, but that wasn't anything unusual, and I slept for a good 10 to 11 hours -- although not continuously and it was agitated dream-roiled toward the end.

A stratocumulus cloud briefly blocks out the Sun as seen from the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave (outside my apartment building), 3:19PM October 22, 2016.


The weather was MUCH cooler, windy, and partly cloudy today with highs of 61F at KDCA, 59F at KBWI, and 58F at KIAD. Yes, that 84F / 68F dew point shit finally ended. Wind were from the west and occasionally northwest 25 to 30MPH with gusts to near 40MPH.

There was some -- very needed -- rainfall yesterday with the cold frontal passage but it was meager: 0.26" at KDCA, 0.11" at KBWI, and 0.14" at KIAD, so we're still trending into a region-wide drought with monthly and seasonal totals well below normal.

It doesn't appear as though there will be any rainfall until at least next Thursday / Friday.

Tonight is a breezy, blustery night with temperatures dropping toward 45F here in the District, upper 30s F in the suburbs.

Tree at 15th and W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:22PM October 22, 2016.

It has been too dry and the fall leaves are not very colorful this year -- at least so far.


I had intended to post a longer entry tonight, but that's not going to happen.

Looking ahead, I haven't finished a particularly vexing work assignment that I need to have done Monday morning -- although the details surrounding it are such that even if I don't finish it, odds are no one will notice since the product (summary of the oral presentations made at a seminar five months ago) is likely never going to be used.

Regardless, I need to spend a few hours on it tomorrow (likely, tomorrow evening) and so I can't post an entry. As a result, my next planned posting will be late Monday or just after midnight Tuesday.

Row houses in the 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:23PM October 22, 2016.

I was walking to the gym.


For tonight, I'm meeting Kevin at Old Ebbitt Grill although I plan to stop at Dito's Bar first -- if only to watch the opening of Saturday Night Live and what is sure to be another Kate McKinnon / Alec Baldwin parody of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- this time satirizing the 3rd presidential debate, which for its part hardly needing satirizing in terms of Trump's outbursts and frequent incoherencies.

Row houses in the 1300 block of W Street NW -- across the street from the YMCA Anthony Bowen -- Washington, D.C., 3:25PM October 22, 2016.

My former coworker and acquaintance, Natan, once lived in that corner row house (basement apartment) but he and his fiancé now live in Denver.


For tomorrow during the day, I'll just take a walk -- maybe taking the Metro to Bethesda or Old Town -- and get lunch somewhere. Again, assuming I get up and out of the apartment before, like, 3PM.

Alright, that is all for now. A mediocre Jukebox Saturday Night Entry to follow shortly.


Friday, October 21, 2016

A Butterfly Flutters By In the October Sky -OR- Awaiting Weather and Political Pattern Changes

Hello, little Monarch butterfly, friend. How are you doing ...?

A Monarch butterfly near the fountain in the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden next to the Smithsonian castle, Washington, D.C., 1:02PM October 20, 2016.

My coworker and friend Ellen took this photograph. I cropped the image a bit.


Once again, it's late as I start a blog entry and, as is usual with these entries, it is occurring after a day at work and a gym night. Actually, it was a rather good multi-part gym workout. And, once again, I am declaring that it is too late for me to write much of an entry.

Enid Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 6:29PM October 19, 2016.

There was some formal, ritzy affair occurring in one of the galleries of the Smithsonian and there were set up throughout the garden these deep blue lights for decorative purposes. My cheap flip-open cellphone camera made the color look more turquoise than it was.


However, unlike when I usually say that and then compose / format a lengthy entry that keeps me up until at least 2AM -- sometimes later -- in this instance, I really am going to keep this entry brief.

Update before posting: OK, then, I finally posted this entry at nearly 220AM, making a total liar out of myself about late night blogging. Again. I guess it's just pathological.

I'm going to refrain from writing anything about last night's final presidential debate between the Madame (Hillary) and a madman (Donald Trump) except to say she did, as ever, masterfully in her understated and always-underappreciated way while he gave a performance that was only slightly less behaviorally bizarre but as weirdly disjointed and factually incoherent as ever -- a spiteful and deeply vengeful egomaniac who lies pathologically and, despite the occasional moments of substantive clarity, is temperamentally dangerously unqualified to be President of the United States.

Much has been made today -- and rightly so -- over two Trump doings from last night -- including his truly extraordinary pointblank refusal to say he would honor the election outcome if he doesn't win (a win for him being, at present, a highly unlikely outcome) and saying -- or rather, uncontrollably blurting out -- of Hillary when she got in a pointed little jab at him, "Such a nasty woman." (He also angrily called her a liar, a criminal, and disqualified to run for president; she never took the bait.)

New York Times online headline, 12:00AM, Oct. 20, 2016.


I watched the bulk of the debate on my computer on CSPAN's website -- the usual subscription aspect was dropped for the debate -- and then hurried over to Floriana to Dito's Bar to watch the remainder there amid a crowd of people (mostly gay men totally for Hillary). In all, I missed about 12 minutes of the debate. (It is estimated 71 million people across the U.S. watched it versus 84 million for the first debate and 66.5 million for the second one.)

The Madame deftly handles things at the third and final debate with the Narcissistic Madman.


I intend to write more about this on Saturday evening -- especially since I have an entry already partially composed that I wrote last night. The bottom line is that Hillary is deservedly in a very strong position and there is no reason to think she won't win, but Trump is as dangerous as he is a vulgar buffoon, and some of his followers potentially are real trouble, at least in places. And the political climate will remain toxic even if she sweeps to electoral victory. As for the debate, I do agree that Chris Wallace was a very good moderator.

Washington Post online headline, 11:46PM Oct. 19, 2016.


Turning to the weather, it has been nonstop shitty and hot and too dry with dew points way above what they should be this time of year (65F to 70F range). Indeed, Dulles Airport (KIAD) had four consecutive days of record high temperatures -- 84F, 85F, 87F, and 83F (the 20th daily record was a tie) -- and I believe there were some record high lows at KBWI and perhaps KDCA (not sure about that).

Speaking of record highs, this CWG entry features the results of an analysis by Justin Grieser of record high and record low temperatures for Washington, D.C., that reveals the incredibly lopsided nature of their ratio for the first six years of this decade. I'd like to repost this entry in its entirety, but I'm not going to do that right now.

From the CWG entry linked above, a plot of the ratio of warmth and cold records for Washington, D.C., by decade 1870s - 2010s.

True, the way this is done causes multiple counting of record temperature ties in subsequent decades, but it works for both warm and cold records, so the takeaway message is the same.


I will note that weather-wise, a strong cold front with upper level trough is approaching the East Coast and while tomorrow may flirt with 80F again -- hopefully, the last time for this season -- Saturday is forecasted to be gusty and blustery with highs only in the 55F to 60F range. Hopefully, there will be some decent rain but there looks to be a big gradient with the I-95 Corridor not getting that much, which is bad.

It is forecasted to be rather windy -- indeed, it is starting to get breezy tonight with a southerly flow.

A recent U.S. Drought Monitor map (without legend) for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. along with NWS NDFD rainfall forecast between Oct. 21 and 24, 2016 for the same region.

This is taken from this CWG entry.


As the above image shows, parts of the Metro D.C. area are in a borderline drought -- or rather, "abnormally dry" (yellow shading), while parts of New England and the New York City area are in an outright drought. The leaves are falling from the trees but with little, so far, in the way of a colorful autumnal display.

The dry pattern will reestablish itself for next week. We really need go to into a wet pattern.

OK, that's all for now.

The interior of Taberna del Alabardero restaurant, Washington, D.C., 7:06PM October 19, 2016.

I discovered this restaurant by chance after leaving work on Wednesday. Intending to go to The Bottom Line for a bit of dinner and a drink, I got off the wrong side of Farragut West Metro station and saw this place. I quite liked it -- especially the buttery shrimp "casserole" dish and white wine I had. I sat at the small bar and the bartender / server, Renee, was terrific.


Part of the issue tonight of why I can't post a more complete entry is that for tomorrow, although I don't have to go to DOE HQ and so I can go in late if I like, I nevertheless have to make major progress on a vexing task that needs to be wrapped up by Monday morning (and I doubt I'll work on it over the weekend no matter what I tell myself).

Also, a stove repair guy is supposed to come tomorrow morning (the building manager arranged it) to look at my still-relatively new stove because two of the natural gas-fired burners -- which are supposed to automatically start when you turn the dial -- are not working.

A corner of Taberna del Alabardero, Washington, D.C., 7:08PM October 19, 2016.

After eating dining here, I walked home. I later went back out to watch the last part of the presidential debate at Dito's Bar (see above).


For tomorrow evening, I'm either going to meet Kevin after work in Penn Quarter or Fred at Annie's. My next planned postings will be Saturday night after my gym / laundry routine but before going out and this should include a Jukebox Saturday Night edition (although I don't have any songs as of now to post).

Sunday is my ostensible free day -- assuming I get up before, oh, 2PM ...

The ornate Beaux-Arts-style Andrew Mellon Building at 18th St and Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 8:09PM October 19, 2016.

It has been undergoing a major renovation -- and, apparently, is soon to house one of your garden-variety, foundation-funded, corporate oligarchical-whoring rightwing D.C. think tanks (namely, AEI). As an aside, the geometric design framing the main entrance looks like a series of interlocking reverse Swastikas. Just sayin' ...


Oh, yes, at this point, my trip to see my father ahead of / during Thanksgiving down in his trailer in Atlantic coastal northcentral Florida is probably off. I just can't handle him and have too much antipathy toward his nowadays.

This is much too much to go into now, so I'll just leave it at that. I'll just visit my mom instead and visit Quill's family, if that's an option this year.

OK, that really is all for now.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Morning of a Busy Week: Slogging Through This Overheated October -OR- Prelude to the Madman and the Madame, Round 3

Halloween decorations -- and a fortuitously-placed waning gibbous Moon rising in the east above -- the yard of the rectory of the Church of the Holy City - Swedborgian Church, Washington, D.C., 10:44PM October 18, 2016.

This is a weird church -- one of those urban ones so liberal that your brains fall out and no one attends -- but it always has nice seasonal decorations in the rectory yard.


Apologies for lack of posting last night.

I stayed late at work -- nearly 730PM -- and then, despite myself and my best plans, went to Trade and No. 9 before arriving home by nearly 11PM. I went online for a little while and started an entry but couldn't finish it. Besides, it was half incoherent anyway.

For today, I am basically going to do the same thing including stay late at work and then maybe go to The Bottom Line around 8PM and perhaps stop at Dito's Bar to watch the third -- and, mercifully, last -- of the presidential "debates" -- yes, I use quotes around them since Donald Trump's campaign.


Because it is such an abnormal race that it is an insult even for the Madame (HRC) to have to run against that madman with the American "political ecosystem" (David Roberts's term) -- including the media -- desperately trying to pretend this is any way normal.

Potomac River upriver view at Great Falls from the Virginia side, 2:57PM October 16, 2016.

I posted the downriver view my previous entry. I considered making this my lead image, but I concluded it would be too confusing given the one in my previous posting.


I need to stay late at work -- I'm again onsite at DOE HQ -- because I am trying my best to slog through a major assignment that I need to have done by COB tomorrow and it is taking forever in agonizing fashion. I also have to cover for a colleague on another task today and go to a 3PM meeting at OWIP.

Tomorrow night, I should be able to get to the gym.

Anyway, it is unlikely that I'll post an entry tonight unless something dramatic happens. Most likely, as soon as I get home, I'll need to go right to bed. My next posting quite possibly won't be until late Thursday (or just after midnight Friday).

The drainage tunnel / narrow passage way under Canal Road at Fletcher's Cove, Washington, D.C., 4:36PM October 16, 2016.


The weather continues to suck -- borderline hot (82F-ish) for mid-October and no goddamn rain, although there is a slight chance Thursday into Friday (that will certainly crap out). The weekend promises to be much cooler -- only around 60F for highs. (As for that Shenandoah camping trip with A & Co., there is no way I can do that.)

OK, that's all for now.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another Overheated October; Too Hot and Too Dry; North Carolina's Big Pig Pool Party; & Still Fending off Trumpocalypse, T-Minus 22 Days

Potomac River downriver view at Great Falls from the Virginia side, 2:57PM October 16, 2016.

I went to the Great Falls Virginia side on Sunday -- and I recalled that I had in fact been there once before with my mom literally 30 years ago (circa 1985).


Well, I was going to write a full entry tonight but I'm too frickin' tired after a long day including work and a multi-part gym workout. (OK, I ended up writing a semi-lengthy entry anyway.)

I'm deeply annoyed by the weather -- it's too goddamn hot and too goddamn dry (that is, no rain) -- here in mid-October and this follows what has mostly been a suck-ass weather year even by D.C. area standards, where nothing much ever really happens.

It reached 84F at KIAD today -- surpassing its 83F record high set in 1963-- while nearby KDCA reached 82F (well short of the 86F record set twice, once in 1938 and earlier in 1908, so both pre-airport records) and KBWI 83F (far short of its 90F daily records et in 1938, also a pre-airport record and, I believe, the latest it has ever hit 90F in Baltimore).

NWS National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) 2-meter maximum high temperatures (in Fahrenheit) forecasted for Oct. 18, 2015 for eastern portions of the United States with those stations within 1F of the daily record high circled -- as prettied up by


The forecast calls for mid-80s Fahrenheit warmth for the rest of the workweek and overnight lows that could exceed daily record high minima (lows).

The 12Z 10/17/2016 GFS 2-meter temperature anomalies (in Fahrenheit) for the northeastern quarter of the Lower 48 valid at hour 54 / 18Z October 19, 2016 -- as prettied up by


And no fucking rain.

That sucks.

To be clear, there is a chance of rain in the Thursday - Saturday time frame as a cold front crosses the region, but that is uncertain with the operational GFS wetter than the Euro, and regardless, that same old fucking ridge / higher heights anomaly reestablishes itself over eastern North America and GOD-ON-HIGH gets all happy because of it.

Anyway, rather than post all the records for the next three days, I'm just going to repost this tweet that the Sterling LWX crew sent out on Oct. 16th with all the relevant info:

Daily record highs and record high lows for October 17 - 20 for KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD.


The CWG -- whose writers such as Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston seem to just love this weather -- and/or pretend that this is "just Indian Summer," when it is not but rather a full-on extension of summer -- had the following entries (links embedded):

Sunset at the Manassas Battlefield, Manassas, Va., Oct. 16, 2016 in a photo by John Ernest and featured in the first CWG entry linked above.


Speaking of CWG, it had an entry on Sunday discussing the pig-and-chicken shit watery ecological disaster in North Carolina as a result of the flooding rains from Hurricane Matthew last week. This particular entry was actually picked up by the regular news section, so it had more views and comments than is normal for a CWG entry.

Aerial view of a flooded hog farm with its overflowing "lagoon" of pig shit in eastern North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.


I posted a comment last night that actually is the most liked -- 46 at last count, a new record for me. I'll repost it here:

The solution is obvious -- and I'm sure the North Carolina state legislature and its philosopher-king governor are already arranging this -- but here goes:

*BAN any aerial drone footage of these floods;
*PROHIBIT any testing of the water by ANY state environmental agency or organization;
*YOWL AND HOWL about federal heavy-handedness when the EPA tries to investigate -- getting the Trump portion of the electorate worked up into a mouth-foaming frenzy;
*Pass legislation defining "ORGANIC" to include "any and all outputs from all natural bodily functions of all animal husbandry products";
*Whip up a SILLY DIVERSION about unisex bathrooms and transgendered people "correctly" identifying their gender;
*PROSECUTE anyone who breaks the bans and prohibitions listed above;

Put it all together, and everything will be just fine.

Oh, and on a personal note, let me just add this: "Matthew" ... "North Carolina" ... and a vast flood of pig-and-chicken-shit filled water going nowhere ... How very appropriate for a certain Not Special Someone.

Before and after Hurricane Matthew aerial pictures of flooded pig farms and their lagoons in the  eastern portion of North Carolina.


OK, I'm going to sign off now rather than post any additional content.

I would like to write about my interesting Sunday that ranged from nearly getting clocked in the head by accident with a large hookah (brought by a cocky, talkative young Russian guy who works at the Russian embassy off Wisconsin Avenue) and falling off a rickety picnic table at Great Falls National Park in Virginia (I would have been knocked unconscious had I not caught it in time).

Great Falls, Potomac River on the Virginia side looking toward the Maryland side, 2:56PM October 16, 2016.


As well as crouching under Canal Road by Fletcher's Boathouse at Fletchers Cove to get over to the Capital Crescent Trail and, later, enjoying a pleasant evening outdoors at Tony and Joes with Kevin and two other people I met, one of whom (Russ) I had a nice dinner thereafter at Mai Thai in Georgetown and walking back to Dupont -- admiring the just-past-full Hunter's Supermoon.

Trees along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Fairfax, Va., 1:17PM October 16, 2016.

Andrea and I were riding to Great Falls. She kindly picked me up and we drove there.


My plan is to write about this in an entry tomorrow. My intention is to come home after work and have some time just to do that. It is a non-gym night, but I'm not going to stop anywhere to drink. As it is, I have a lot to do at work and I'm behind on it.

I would like to post the current FiveThirtyEight polls-plus forecast election outlook -- and just leave it at that. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, around midnight Oct. 18, 2016.

Hillary Clinton is presently (in the most recent update around midnight) at 85.3 percent to Donald Trump's 14.7 percent chance.


However, I cannot tonight handle any discussing the manic shit flinging from Donald Trump that isn't that far away from actually inciting violence when he loses -- unless the whole thing is -- as Jonathan Chait has speculated -- is just a massive scam to build a media/entertainment empire.

Indeed, it wouldn't shock me if Trump actually backs out days before the election. Alternatively, those less likely, I wouldn't be shocked if he calls for actual violence by his crazed supporters.

I also can't handle discussing anything about the corporate media/entertainment perpetual motion machine involving this goddamn election and the need to pretend that this is anything but normal. Suffice it to say, the Madame is doing well with three weeks to go that can't pass soon enough -- and she is planning a big push into some red states such as Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri.

Oh, and I'm happy that Julian Assange's goddamn internet connection has been cut. True, this won't stop the toxic "drip drip drip" WikiLeaks sludge of Kremlin-facilitated hacked emails designed to do nothing but hurt Hillary's chances, but at least it knocks this idiot out for a time. Reports say it was his Ecuadorian protectors that cut his internet access. Remember he has been holed up at Ecuador's embassy in London for over 4 years now avoiding extradition on a rape charge in Sweden. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Oct. 18th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model

In the polls only, it is presently 88.1 to 11.9 percent and in the now-cast, it is 90.7 to 9.2 percent.

Note that we are close enough to the election that the candidate names are now running into the Nov. 8th finish line. Also, in the now-cast version, Trump is so low that his name and chances are actually atop those of that idiot Gary Johnson.


OK, that is all for now. G'night.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for Oct. 15th, 2016: The Fats and It's Fun Time Edition -OR- Right Back to Where We Started From ...

First up, something really fun with the legendary Fats Waller ...

"Honeysuckle Rose" by Fats Waller as performed in a "Soundie" from 1941.

Soundies were musical shorts (of 3 minute duration) made in the first half of the 1940s. The lady with him on the piano is Vivian Brown, who with her twin sister Hilda "Hibby" Brown, was one of the Cotton Club Girls.

Fats composed this song in 1929 with lyrics written by Andy Razaf.


Next up, a smooth yet energetic and upbeat piece by Brian Culbertson ...

"It's Time" by Brian Culbertson from his well-received album XII (2010)

This video also features Brian having a lot of fun while performing. Looking at his website and twitter page, Brian Culbertson seems to be in a Funk! phase. (To be clear, that's name of his most recent release.)


Finally, let's end with something wonderful from the disco era ...

"Right Back Where We Started From" by Maxine Nightingale from the album of same name (1976)

(To be clear, the song was released in 1975 and then it was re-released on the album of same name in 1976.)

I love the two little palm trees on that island in a psychedelic sea ...

OK, that's all for now. Please see my just-posted previous entry.


Saturday Evening Post for October 15th, 2016: Bill Maher's Ken Bone to Pick With America's Idiotic "Undecided Voters" and George Will on Donald Trump-as-GOP Chemotherapy

**This entry was posted October 15, 2016.**

Please watch this ...

Above: Bill Maher on his "New Rule" segment of his most recent Real Time has a (Ken) Bone to pick with America's idiotic, low-information "Undecided Voters" -- a country where fully 40 percent of its people would / will vote for frickin' Donald Trump.

I can't do it justice with any excerpts, so just please watch it.

******* Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, October 15, 2016.

Hillary continues to hold a substantial lead in the polls over a Narcissistic and Probably Sociopathic Orange Vulgarian and Buffoon (even though she really hasn't -- and likely won't -- break the 50 percent mark). Above and below is the current polls plus forecast output -- electoral college map and trend line -- from The next and final presidential "debate" is this coming Wednesday.

******* Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Oct. 13th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model.


Before too much time passes, I'd like to note -- with some excerpts -- a really amazing op-ed by a George F. Will, a man I have long despised for his politics and thesaurus-speak masquerading as powerful intellect, with particular ire for his Know-Nothing climate change denialism.

But in the case of Donald Trump, I find myself in amazing agreement with this man, George F. Will.

So without further ago, here is his Tuesday, Oct. 11th Washington Post op-ed (link embedded): Donald Trump is the GOP's Chemotherapy.

Opening paragraph:

"What did Donald Trump have left to lose Sunday night? His dignity? Please. His campaign's theme? His Cleveland convention was a mini-Nuremberg rally for Republicans whose three-word recipe for making America great again was the shriek "Lock her up!" This presaged his banana-republican vow to imprison his opponent."

And this:

"Consider Mike Pence, a favorite of what Republicans devoutly praise as America's "faith community." Some of its representatives, their crucifixes glittering in the television lights, are still earnestly explaining the urgency of giving to Trump, who agreed that his daughter is "a piece of ass," the task of improving America’s coarsened culture."

"Because Pence looks relatively presidential when standing next to Trump -- talk about defining adequacy down -- some Republicans want Trump to slink away, allowing Pence to float to the top of the ticket and represent Republicanism resurrected. This idea ignores a pertinent point: Pence is standing next to Trump."

He then ends with four reasons why he wants Trump to remain atop the ticket. This is worth quoting in full:

"Today, however, Trump should stay atop the ticket, for four reasons. First, he will give the nation the pleasure of seeing him join the one cohort, of the many cohorts he disdains, that he most despises -- "losers." Second, by continuing to campaign in the spirit of St. Louis, he can remind the nation of the useful axiom that there is no such thing as rock bottom. Third, by persevering through Nov. 8 he can simplify the GOP's quadrennial exercise of writing its post-campaign autopsy, which this year can be published Nov. 9 in one sentence: "Perhaps it is imprudent to nominate a venomous charlatan." Fourth, Trump is the GOP's chemotherapy, a nauseating but, if carried through to completion, perhaps a curative experience."

Wild and crazy times.

My friend and neighbor Fred in a cranberry bog with his friend at the Cranberry Harvest Festival in Wareham, Mass., October 8, 2016.


As the briefest of updates, last night, I met my neighbor Fred -- pictured above and below in two photos he sent to me -- at Annie's after work, and then I went to Dito's Bar.

Today -- after getting up at damn near 3PM -- I had a good multi-part gym workout today and just finished my laundry. For tonight, I'm doing my usual routine ending at Old Ebbitt Grill Old Bar, where I might be meeting up with Kevin and a friend of his. For tomorrow, I might be going to a picnic at Great Falls (on the Virginia side) with Andrea's group.

The weather continues to feature nothing but sunshine during the day with warming temps -- highs are forecasted to reach about 83F by Tuesday and Wednesday. The next chance of any rainfall is next weekend.

Fred in a yellow "rubber ducky" duck boat at the Cranberry Harvest Festival, Wareham, Massachusetts, October 8, 2016.


OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be late Monday night. Jukebox Saturday Night entry to follow shortly ...


Friday, October 14, 2016

The Interminable Entry: A Hybrid Update and Political-Themed Posting at the 3AM Hour

Farragut West Metro station, Washington, D.C., 9:12PM October 12, 2016.

Unbelievably, Metro is again facing (1) extended repair-related service disruptions; (2) mechanical and track problems; (3) budget shortfalls; and (4) general crisis management.


This entry was originally an attempt to merge two entries -- an update and a political-themed entry that was a reworking of what I initially composed on Tuesday night. I wrote that after going to the gym but ran out of time in that it was too late to continue and I needed to sleep to get to work at a decent hour.

Sidewalk along 23rd St NW nearing Constitution Avenue by the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., 5:17PM October 10, 2016.


However, in the end, as with most of my blog entries, it became a disjointed and interminable hybrid entry. The photos in this first part are from my Monday, Columbus Day walk down to the Mt. Vernon bike trail along the Potomac River.

Starting with the update part, I did not go to the gym tonight -- thus nixing one of my two workweek nights in which I have regularly gone with only rare exceptions for several years now, and I'm not happy at all about it.

One of the two "Art of War" bronze, fire-gilded statues -- Sacrifice, I think -- that frame either end of the Washington, D.C.-side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:26PM October 10, 2016.

The two "Art of Peace" statues are at the entrance to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway a few hundred feet away.


You see, Gentle Reader, going to the gym -- along with having a relatively healthy food diet, with some exceptions, of course -- is what allows me to remain in reasonable shape for a man my age (on the cusp of 47 years old) and with a short, small body morphology that would also quickly be at this age pudgy-to-outright fat. It also allows me to drink as much as I do, which of course, isn't a good thing.

The Potomac River and Rosslyn skyline as seen from the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:29PM October 10, 2016.


More than that, though, it also makes me feel better rather than slipping into middle-aged doughy, sad obscurity -- the best days of life already in the rear-view mirror -- the only thing that keeps reasonable and tolerable my lost life in Washington, D.C., early 21st Century as a forever unattached gay man.

A spur of the Mt. Vernon trail that connects the east side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the actual path -- Arlington, Va., 5:40PM October 10, 2016.

I had to run across a busy, multi-lane road as I was on the west side of the bridge. Also, to get to the actual trail, you have to cross the George Washington Memorial Parkway -- where the high-speed traffic is just supposed to stop because you are a pedestrian.


While I can't fight age itself and my overall life situation is more or less fixed at least for the next few years, I don't want to -- and won't let myself -- also become a vapid blob. And were I straight and married with now-teenage children (indifferent to anything I said), my wife having long since turned me into a buccal-pumping frog on a suburban or exurban townhouse lily pad ...

A typical middle class American married male about 5 years into a regular straight marriage.


... well, then I guess it would be different as in, it wouldn't matter how physically out of shape I was or with what regularity and freedom I broke wind in front of the flat screen TV in my rec room "man cave" while talking back to the cable news/entertainment shows and telling my overweight and unhappy wife that she wasn't overweight.

It's a REAL LOVE, an HONEST LOVE, my dearest Brunhilde.


However, having said all that, I just couldn't make it to the gym this Thursday night. For starters, I was not feeling well this morning with an upset stomach, or rather, nether region that waylaid me and kept me in the apartment until early afternoon.

I also just slept in late and had really weird dreams. They were again of the Jersey shore, again just off the shore of the old Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright, again interacting with an offshore buoy (this time painting it green and orange) while waiting for a major hurricane to strike. That part involved my dad and his old New Jersey house -- for obvious reasons.

Oh, yes, as for my dad, power was restored on Monday, so all is back to normal for him down there in Dumpwater unincorporated Flagler-by-the-Sea, Florida.

The not-so-long shadow of yours truly with the Potomac River and Washington Monument visible, Mt. Vernon bike trail, Arlington, Va.**, 5:41PM October 10, 2016.

**To be clear, all the places I've marked the Mt. Vernon bike trail between the Arlington Memorial Bridge and 14th Street Bridges (in particular, the George Mason span) as being in Arlington, Va., it is technically in most, if not all, of those places in Washington, D.C., even though it is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.


While I went into work, I didn't have to go into DOE HQ today. Instead, I went into my regular office and worked on a lengthy client-related task that I really need to get done but that is going to take several days. I stayed until about 9PM before coming home, walking from Farragut West station and stopping at the 17th Street Safeway.

Spur of the Mt. Vernon bike trail near the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:41PM October 10, 2016.


I just didn't feel well all day with a headache (sort of a mild migraine), but it went away when I got home and I feel fine now (just regularly tired at this late hour). I'm in my wee, lamp-lit efficiency with my air conditioner humming away and making some dinner. As it is, I need to rest and I'm also flat broke until tomorrow -- with my paycheck scheduled to arrive electronically at some point before 6AM.

Anyway, barring some disaster, I fully intend to go to the gym for my usual Saturday routine.

Potomac River view looking upriver toward the Arlington Memorial Bridge from the Mt. Vernon bike trail, 5:50PM October 10, 2016.


Part of the problem is that I went out last night after work -- going to a happy hour in Arlington (Clarendon) at Spider Kelly's with Andrea & Co., where "Co." refers to a whole panoply of 20-and-early 30-somethings. I had too much to drink there along with an attempted healthy dinner -- chicken noodle soup (which was good) and a Caesar salad drowning in dressing (never order Caesar salads in bars).

It was the latter that got me this morning, although not as in outright food poisoning as I had back in April.

The Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial on Columbia Island, Washington, D.C., 6:04PM October 10, 2016.

I find this memorial quite moving. (Again, this is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River but technically in D.C.)


Speaking of that group, some of them are going camping in the Shenandoah the weekend of Oct. 22 - 23rd. I have been invited and by all that makes sense, I really ought to go -- a nearly free camping weekend out in the Shenandoah in the fall that gets me out of my D.C. Bubble for 2 to 3 days.

A vista in Roaring Plains West Wilderness, West Virginia, on or about October 8, 2016. My friend Chester went hiking and camping last week both in Roaring Plains and the adjacent Dolly Sods wilderness area, both of which are in the Monongahela National Forest.


However, I'm highly reluctant to go because (1) I'm ill-prepared for camping, and (2) I don't like camping, as my one and only attempt back in May 2013 clearly demonstrated (although the particulars of that one were quite different).

This is a photo that Chester took back in August and I've been meaning to post it ever since: Arcturus Drive in the vicinity of South Glastonbury and Emigrant, Park County, Montana, August 16, 2016.

Remember that I have another blog -- Arcanity from Arcturus -- that I haven't updated in forever. Most of the entries that were on it involving M. WADE Tipamillyun that I removed. (Nonsensical entries for a fraudulent topic.) Arcturus was the name I used on my first blog (March 2006 - early 2008) that I long since deleted.


Anyway, I came back into the city and stopped at The Bottom Line for an old fashioned. The place was quite lovely in that it was slow and quiet on a Wednesday night. Walking back home, I stopped en route at Dito's Bar at Floriana.  I should avoid dark liquor but I've gotten to like old fashioned drinks.

The Bottom Line on a quiet night, Washington, D.C., 9:29PM October 12, 2016.


So that was all too much and hence my discombobulation this morning. While there, we watched on YouTube some hilariously overacted scene in some Mexican soap opera and then part of a documentary about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential race.

Planned TIME magazine cover, Oct. 24, 2016 edition.

About presidential politics, I simply cannot get into the ongoing Donald Trump presidential campaign reality shit show -- at least not in this entry. I have one composed from a couple days ago that I will try to post but things are moving so frenetically and the whole thing so extraordinary (literally two to three scandals a day, presently all involving Trump sexually harassing any number of women), that it's impossible to cover it in "real time" in this forum.

He's literally in a full meltdown and he is eagerly taking everyone and everything with him that he can -- manically flinging as much shit as he can. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, October 13, 2016.


For her part, Hillary Clinton is doing quite well in the polls -- even in the most conservative and rigorous of models, the FiveThirtyEight "forecast plus polls," she is presently at 82 percent likelihood to win to Trump's 18 percent. In the polls only, it is 85.6 percent to 14.4 percent and in the now-cast, it is 88.5 to 11.5 percent. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Oct. 13th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model.


Oh, and if that Mormon Republican guy Evan McMullin on the ballot in Utah keeps Trump from carrying the Beehive State -- which is not far-fetched at all -- and HRC manages to get even a slight plurality of votes, then she would win that state's Electoral College delegate slate (it being winner-take-all, as are most states). As for the more far-fetched scenarios involving Evan McMullin, those are, well, quite far-fetched.

At this point, we will probably have Hillary Rodham Clinton -- a.k.a., the Madame -- as our first female President, and I'm thrilled all around -- but a Republican House and Senate and so four years of political trench warfare and nonstop scandal-mongering by a furious and radicalized GOP.

In a presidential campaign of bat-shit insanity crossed deep into surreal farce, this has to take the cake: The "Women for Trump" group of "evangelical wives" married to Trump-supporting Republican House Members get ready to take their side show on the road.

Phew. What a silly, nutty country.


While the GOP richly deserves this fate, the problem is that we have a country with a national government that runs on a two-party system, and one of those parties is just nuts now and is being pulled into self-destructive vortex by a narcissistic, pathologically lying, puerile, carnival-barking fraud with deeply authoritarian tendencies and no clue or even interest in anything resembling public policy.

Above: Donald Trump harangues a crowd of fervent supporters at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center on Oct. 13, 2016 during which he repeatedly called Bill and Hillary Clinton of "widespread criminal activity" and being part of a global conspiracy to destroy his candidacy through "lies" about his groping women -- and being done at the behest news media and multinational corporations. (He's getting awfully close to saying "international Jewish bankers.")

Story here.

On Tuesday, Trump also effectively declared war on his own Republican Party after it came out that House Speaker Paul J. Ryan -- the "zombie-eyed granny starver," to quote the always-hilarious Charles Pierce -- wasn't going to campaign for him but work instead only to preserve the party's House and Senate majorities.

Three of an "unshackled" Donald Trump's tweets taking on his own party on Oct. 11, 2016. Quite extraordinary.


By the way, the Washington Post editorial board's editorial enthusiastically endorsing Hillary Clinton for president should be read, as should its "closing argument" in the form of a "He said, we said" summation of 16 months of the worst of Donald Trump -- both in his own words and the responses of the Post editorial board, op-ed columnists, and other contributors.

Yes, that Washington Post editorial board -- world HQ of the Washington Consensus and its received conventional wisdom for the neoliberal world order. What can I say but invoke the old and quite truthful expression about politics making for strange bedfellows.

See -- I can't even "briefly" mention the campaign without getting into all this??

Screenshot of CNN's airing of the second presidential debate, 9:11PM EDT October 9, 2016.


Turning to the weather, tonight is a dry, cool one with air temps around 60F (55F-ish in the suburbs) at the 11PM hour with a light northwesterly breeze. There is still no frickin' rain in sight -- just a bone dry October. It's supposed to warm up next week with temps reaching near 80F, so that will suck.

Having complained about the lack of rainfall in the D.C. area, I should note that severe flooding from Hurricane Matthew persists in eastern North Carolina. I haven't discussed that at all and don't have time to do so now.

Drone footage of flooded homes in Cumberland County, North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The drones enable rescue workers -- as shown here -- to reach those trapped.


NWS Doppler-estimated rainfall for eastern North Carolina for the seven day period beginning Oct. 3rd, 2016 as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

This isn't a very good color-coded map so it doesn't give you the sense of how widespread was the 8 to 16 inches of rainfall. Nor can it show how that much rainfall in such a pancake-flat region simply floods everything. Add into it all the pig-and-chicken farms with all that pig and chicken shit overflowing everywhere -- not to mention all the drowned pigs and chicken -- and you have yourself a real nasty mess.

Being it's North Carolina, though, the state legislature's solution is to ban any photos of that or, for that matter, even measure the fecal matter or other shit in the water.

A flooded poultry operation in Duplin, N.C., in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 2016.


OK, that really is all for now. I'm going to bed. I won't post another entry until Saturday evening / night in the form of the usual twofer of "Saturday Evening Post" and "Jukebox Saturday Night" series.

A really lovely picture of the Yoshino (Japanese) cherry trees -- yes, those trees of cherry blossom fame -- on the Tidal Basin in their fall splendor in a photo taken Nov. 8, 2015 by Kevin Ambrose of the CWG and featured in this recent entry.


Good night. And good morning.