Sunday, September 30, 2012

Exogenous Shock Watch: Awaiting October and its Surprises

Updated 9:10AM 6/3/2014: See below.

A pile of pumpkins outside of Whole Foods Market on P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:01AM, Sept. 30, 2012. I was leaving Stoney's when I took this picture. For a variety of reasons, I am not a fan of Whole Foods and almost never go there.

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OK, I am finally completing this entry on Sunday afternoon. I started it initially as a Friday night entry that (instead I posted a shorter one -- see previous entry). I then tried to complete it last night but ran out of time because Wendy and I had dinner plans.

A full Moon riding high above Washington, D.C., veiled lightly by clouds as seen through the boughs of a very large elm tree that grows at the edge of Lafayette Park next to the White House. This was around 930PM, Sept. 30, 2012.

Wendy and I went to the Old Ebbitt Grill down by the White House. We sat at the Old Bar. It was actually not crazy crowded there and we had no trouble getting two adjacent bar stools.

Thereafter, we went to No. 9 and later (after Wendy had departed) to next door Stoney's, where Howie was working at the downstairs bar.

I'm supposed to go to a picnic at Jake's house in Arlington later this afternoon. It is actually for Andrea's husband ("I") because it was just his birthday. This crowd is all about 30 years old -- nearly 13 years my junior. However, as you may know, I am loathe to leave the District, esp. to venture into "NoVa" and esp. on the weekends. Well, for that matter, any time. I would venture to guess that about 98 percent of my life in the 7 years has been spent inside the D.C. Bubble.

A flower bed of chrysanthemums growing along the sidewalk at the corner of 16th and P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:21PM, Sept. 29, 2012. This is next to one of the multiple Scientology places that exist near Dupont Circle. In fact, I think they upkeep this flower bed.

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Earlier yesterday, I went to the YMCA. I jogged for a full 45 minutes plus 5 minute cool down on the treadmill. If the display was to be believed, it was about 3.8 miles and just over 500 calories. I then did some machine-based weight-lifting (yes, I know that's probably not the most ideal, but it's better than nothing), and then swimming for a bit before the place closed at 6:30PM.

I weighed myself and was at 168 pounds (actually, more like 167.5 pounds) or down 15 pounds from my first time weighing myself on it back in late June when I rejoined, and down 17 pounds from that disastrous "know your numbers" event we had at work on June 15th -- the event that finally got me to rejoin in the gym -- and I clocked in at 188 pounds and she subtracted out 3 pounds for clothes for a net weight of 185 pounds. And my other vital stats were kind of crummy, too. These too are improved.

My 12 sessions with the YMCA personal trainer "T" -- a young, bulky yet softly muscular, attractive, quite straight African American fellow about 27 years old -- start on Monday. They are Monday and Thursday nights, ostensibly for 6 weeks.

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Here are a few other items from what I wrote over the past two days while trying to compose this entry, adjusted to make contextual sense.

First, I had to update my 9/12/2012 entry because it appears that I misheard the lyrics of the opening theme song "And then there's Maude" as sung by the late Donny Hathaway to the 1970s show Maude.


Here was the third season intro to the show. I would love to know where that house was / is located (I'm sure it's still there). It has to be in the NYC suburbs, quite possibly northern New Jersey.

The line is question is "THAT uncompromisin'" rather than "BAD AT compromisin'" -- I'm fairly certain that's what he's saying. What it most definitely is NOT is "THAT OLD compromisin'" as it appears online on various lyrics websites.


Secondly, and speaking of Maude, I was watching on Friday night the only channel that I know of that actually airs the show. That would be Antenna TV. However, on Friday nights, as I've noted before, it airs really old sitcoms such as Father Knows Best*, Bachelor Father, and Leave It To Beaver. It also includes The Jack Benny Program. On Friday, one of the episodes ("Jack Does USO Show") had Liltin' Martha Tilton on it to sing a song. She was wonderful.

*Robert Young's arrogant, condescending smile through every episode made this program hard to watch.

**Updated 9:10AM 6/3/2014: Here was featured the YouTube clip of the opening of the 1960s TV show "Bachelor Father," but the Wall-P legal sorts had it removed, or rather, it was removed on YouTube, so I'm just removing this now-dead space where it had been embedded.**


What really sucks about Antenna TV are the commercials -- either soft-core phone sex ads set incongruously with assorted ones for the old and infirmed (lots of cancer, adult diapers, assorted female issues, etc.), the dubious-at-best for-profit "online college" racket (in particular, ads for Everest College), debt "relief" agencies that are just fronts run by credit card companies (each of them nothing more than the Ebola virus of American Mitt Romney-style predatory, "harvesting," blow financial bubbles-out-the-wazoo, destroy-everything-and-everyone "free market" capitalism), and outfits promising to help those who owe massively on their taxes.**

In short, a GOP dream world.

**Updated 9:10AM 6/3/2014: Content removed**

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The new picture of the Eiffel Tower at night in the Larry's Lounge restroom as seen on Thursday night (Sept. 27, 2012). That bright object in the photo is actually the reflection of the ceiling light fixture. This picture replaces the previous one on the same wall.

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Turning to the weather ...

There was some heavy rainfall on Thursday night as a lightning-laced thunderstorm drenched the immediate D.C. area. There was about three-quarters of an inch of rain at National Airport (KDCA) proper (0.78" combined on the 27th and 28th with 0.73" last night before and after midnight).

Rainy night at the confusing intersection of U and 18th Streets and Florida Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 12:49AM, Sept. 28, 2012. I was walking back home from Larry's Lounge.

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This rainfall pushed KDCA above its full September normal of 3.72" -- and thus it marks the first time since last December that KDCA has not been below normal on precipitation. I think this noteworthy because while one expects as the climate warms most months to be above the 30-year normal for temperature, precip should still mostly vary randomly in this area.

Oh, yes, both KBWI and KIAD had much less on Thursday night -- the deluge missed those spots.

The cloud-to-cloud lightning was quite astonishing -- horizontal bolts and lacey networks that went from horizon to horizon.

As of now, there is rain in the forecast for later in the week with temps about normal. The normal high is 74 and normal low is 57F at KDCA for Sept. 30th.

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At some point in the next week, I need to buy some new clothes, esp. shoes, belt, and more boxer briefs.

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Ha ha

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Some Political commentary and Election Observations  


On a brief political note -- I really wish the election were already here. At this point, while it's looking good for Obama, and Romney is unquestionably a dreadful candidate representing a truly nightmare philosphy and a lot of people sort of "get" that fact, even while the economy is just OK enough not to drag down Obama, anything is possible. In short, we don't need any "final month exogenous shocks" -- i.e., October surprises.

**Updated 9:12AM 6/3/2014: Content removed**

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Still, it has been -- as Paul Krugman noted in a blog entry on Thursday -- startling to see this election campaign turn out to be an "ideological" one about the actual role of government in peoples' lives vis-a-vis rapacious Bain Capital-style corporate capitalism with Romney nothing less than the apotheosis of that style. (As ever, I highly recommend Krugman's regular blog and this twice a week New York Times op-eds, which are available on line).


And we have the very unusual situation in which the VRWC propaganda machine is surprisingly on the defensive clearly as a result of the Romney 47 percent remark video.


All of this is so different from the usual nihilistic bullsh!t campaigns we get where the POLITICO / Beltway pundit crowd that focus on whether or not Al Gore said he invented the internet or whether John Kerry eats his cheesesteaks in a "dainty" way. (I think that was a Dana Milbank WaHoPo piece in '04.)

Of note, I found myself in agreement with this Joan Walsh piece in Salon. Though she is a liberal Democrat and in theory I should agree with her on many issues, she too often is a Republican caricature of a liberal.

Her new book title -- What's the Matter with White People? -- is intentionally offensive in that way of urban coastal liberal elites and that in subtle ways helps keep naturally "blue" states such as West Virginia and Kentucky solidly "red." (I haven't actually read the book so I don't know what point she is trying to make.)


This is the Real Clear Politics electoral college map for the 2012 presidential campaign as it appeared today on the site.
 
I would have thought he that Virginia would be shaded as "leans Obama" but I guess the analysis is a "conservative" one. As for South Carolina being "weakly Romney," that's just hard to believe if by that you mean "weakly Republican." The national poll average on the RCP site is 48.9% to 44.6% or +4.3% for Obama.

For his part, Nate Silver presently has President Obama at 319 electoral votes.


Obama won with 365 electoral votes in 2008. Above is a map of the 2008 presidential election U.S. Electoral College results. His national popular vote victory was 52.9% to Sen. John McCain's 45.7% out of 131.39 million votes cast (which, using one main estimate of the number of eligible voters, was a 63% turnout, or the highest since 1960).

Here is the Electoral College results for the 2008 presidential election that is (1) by county and (2) scaled from red to blue through purple to show percentage results. Thus, a 100% vote for McCain is pure red and 100% vote for Obama is pure blue and a 50-50 tie is purple.


Here is the same map as above but scaled to population. The Northeast megalopolis cities all show up clearly -- with the lowermost one (next to the distorted Delmarva) Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George's Counties).

Both the District of Columbia -- considered for these purposes as a "county" or other independent local government unit and New York County (better known as Manhattan) -- were the most populous county-level wins at 92.5% (yes, that included yours truly) and 85.7%, respectively.*

*Bronx County was 88.7% for Obama but had about 285,000 less votes overall. BTW, Staten Island (Richmond County) went for McCain.

By contrast, it APPEARS that was the most populous county-level win for McCain was a a toss up between Utah County, Utah** (which includes Provo) at 78.7% and Montgomery County, Texas at 75.9% (slightly lower but with a somewhat greater number of votes).

**Salt Lake County, location of Salt Lake City, itself actually went for Obama, if you can believe that.

Lastly, I do not intend to watch the presidential "debates" -- i.e., question-and-answer session with frickin' Jim Lehrer.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be on Tuesday or Wednesday.

--Regulus

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Night Musical and Blogging Delight


OK, here we have another delightful 1970s song: Starland Vocal Band's 1976 hit "Afternoon Delight" as featured on Burt Sugarman's musical variety show The Midnight Special.

I personally love the fact that the core of the group -- the then-husband and wife duo of Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (the two on the right) -- at least in that old video look like a 1970s Mormon couple and yet they're singing without a hint of embarrassment about getting horny in the morning and having a nooner ("My mind has always been, when it's right, it's right / Why wait until the middle of a cold, dark night?? ...").


Also, the song was #2 on Billboard's Top 100 hits on the day of the Bicentennial, July 4, 1976 (just behind Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney in his post-Beatles group Wings) and it climbed to #1 the next week.

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This is my Friday night musical interlude.

However, posting it was a bit of a challenge royal pain in my ass, and not just because my ADHD makes blog entries torturous to write and I had about two pages of text that I simply dumped into another possible draft entry.

In addition, the Internet Explorer on my work laptop* that I took home this weekend is having issues including especially Adobe Flash problems. Videos and streaming media are sort of half working and half not working, depending on the video and site. However, it works fine with Chrome.


Manfred Mann's Earth Band version of Blinded by the Light.

It is also (as the clip above) from Burt Sugarman's The Midnight Special, except the year before in 1975.

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What happened earlier is that there was a security-related IT upgrade to IE 9 and, as always happens with upgrades, the outcome is worse in key ways. The IT fellow fixed it earlier (he remotely accessed my computer) but now it is having issues again. It's sort of half working and half not working, depending on the video (YouTube or otherwise). However, it works with Chrome.

*Remember that my home PC is no more.
 
OK, that's all for now. I'll try to update this blog tomorrow or Sunday. I'm planning on going to Millie & Al's tonight and then to Larry's Lounge.

--Regulus

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Libertarian Delights -OR- The Inverted Marxism that Leads to Mitt Romney


I wasn't thrilled with my previous quick update so let me replace it with this one. This will be an even faster one as I'm late for work.

As others have pointed out (sorry for no links, but I'm in a hurry), libertarianism as constructed by that refugee from the Soviet regime Ayn Rand, is a type of invertered Marxism.


But instead of the workers providing all the value in society and controlling the means of production (rather than the capitalist owners), in her utopia, there are just a small number of individuals who are truly the productive members of society. Everyone is are just moochers and leechers. And these individuals -- the only intelligent ones worthy of living -- are necessarily the "owners" of what they produce. 

So as a theoretical construct, it is an inverted Marxism.

And it's not a shock that the Republican party in America today -- whose "intellectual" underpinnings were shaped by a number of ex-Trotskyites about 50 years ago -- should embrace this badly warped and utterly unworkable notion of freedom.

As for Romney, unlike the affable George W. Bush, he's just too much of a parody of a billionaire plutocrat to pull off what is accurately described as the "neat trick" of getting just enough of the white working class to vote against its own economic interests win.

That these mostly Jewish and Catholic intellectuals were able to link their philosophy into a party consisting of Southern Protestant fundamentalists in service to the corporate oligarchical overclass is quite remarkeable.


This is today's Republican Party -- a illiberal / rightwing radical party with an insular, indeed cultish "movement conservative" reality (hence the Know Nothingism toward basic science, learning, and facts) in service to corporate / big business interests and supported by Southern fundamentalists. Amazing.

Can the Democrats utilize this to their advantage and regain true New Deal-era majority?

I'm just not that optimistic since the Dem strategy is basically to win by default by hoping Republicans lose.

--Regulus

Lunar Riparian Crooning -OR- Yes, we have no blog entries today ...

In memory of Andy Williams, who died on Tuesday at age 84  ...



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Well, I had planned a longer, more complete update and I tried to write one. However, writing about my usual topics, to wit ...

... the weather (rain is forecasted through the weekend, but I'm skeptical), gym (I'm down to 169 pounds and I arranged for 12-session with a personal trainer), and "M. Wade Tipamillyun" Henry (the cartoonish Gay Lord of D.C.'s 17th Street and his $500 per night tips) and his beloved Oooza the Unloved Crow Creature ...

... plus some political commentary 'n' stuff ... well, all of that simply took too long. I will try again on Friday night.

--Regulus

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Preliminary Computer Success and Silver Spring Saturday Supper Sojourn Pics

Driving along Silgo Creek Parkway in a downpour, Silver Spring, Md., 6:43PM, Sept. 22, 2012.

I was with Quill on the way to her parents house. The photos in this entry were taken this past Saturday on my trip there for dinner. The localized drenching rainstorm that happened was associated with a cold frontal passage and lasted about 15 minutes. It dropped at least a half inch of rain very localized. As for KDCA, it has zip while KBWI had 0.04" and KIAD had 0.23" rainfall.

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Clouds and blue sky as seen looking east from Fort Totten Metro, Washington, D.C., 6:23PM, Sept. 22, 2012.

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OK, the good news is I was able to set up my work computer at home and gain internet access almost immediately (some minor issues with power cords to the modem aside). So I have internet access with a decent computer -- my work one -- at home. And the cordless optical mouse with its little USB connector thing inserted into the side of the computer is also working.

Stormy skies as seen from the Fort Totten Metro Red Line platform this past Saturday, 6:24PM, Sept. 22, 2012. I was heading up to Silver Spring Metro from U Street/Cardozo Metro. As noted, a heavy rainshower was forming over Silver Spring / suburban Maryland and the far upper part of Washington, D.C., and the clouds were about to unload their watery mass.

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AND I had most of my 6,600+ / 0.9 Gigabites of photos either saved on various flash drives or (in part) on my work computer. And as for others, I can just save them from this and my other blog. Finally, the main sites and features that I use -- Blogger, Statcounter, YouTube video embeds, etc. -- are all accessible from this computer.

SO!

At this point, I think I'm good to go for blogging purposes.

Now in the next several months, I do want to get another computer that is my own.

Wet evening houses on quiet residential sidestreet of Rogart Road, Silver Spring, Md., 6:48PM, Sept. 22, 2012.

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Now if I were to lose my job, I would lose my computer, but I just don't want to think about that. As it is, I'm quite busy of late -- doing lots of compliance case work in Texas. I've called so many tiny towns (some of which are classified as "cities" rather than "towns" with no relation to population) in the Texas panhandle and/or east Texas than I had ever even heard of before. (I was hoping to have a case in Marfa, but no such luck.)

Wet backyard of Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring, Md., 6:57PM, Sept. 22, 2012.

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In the end, unless something is really egregious, the usual goal is for local jurisdictions to get their grant money despite compliance issues and I like that. I play a small role in this process, but I enjoy the fact that I get to "interface" with so many folks at the local level across this sprawling, endless country -- and as the guy in Washington, D.C., with the 202 area code and the .gov e-mail address (full disclosure: I'm just a contractor).

Speaking of D.C., capital of the United States, and how it has changed radically in the past 10 to 20 years (a fact to which I can personally attest), this New York Times op-ed by Ross Douthat is really worth a read. It's really becoming a Hunger Games kind of "Capitol" city??

The set dinner table for four in the backroom overlooking the yard of Quill's parents' house, Silver Spring, Md., 6:59PM, Sept. 22, 2012.

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Anyway, at this point, my plan is to have a full entry on Wednesday night (I'm not planning on taking the computer home tomorrow evening).

Tonight, I also made it to the gym and had a good workout -- 45 minutes on the treadmill, a half hour-ish on the weight machines, and 25 minutes in the pool, all at my National Capital Y-M-C-A.

Speaking of computers ...

Here my very dear friend Quill sits at a computer in old bedroom at her parents' house in Silver Spring, Md., 8:53PM, Sept. 22, 2012. It is just so peaceful in that suburban Maryland home. She was looking at a potential new Sheltie that her parents may adopt. They've had two previous wonderful Shelties, Angel and Bernice.

We were actually looking initially at the Wikipedia website of Meridian Hill Park. Why? Because the current picture of the recently thoroughly renovated statue of Joan of Arc was taken by Yours Truly.

I took this last April and submitted it -- or rather, a cropped version of it -- to Wikipedia (rather than creating my own account to upload it) and about 4 months later, it actually was posted.
 
The statue -- the only equestrian one with a female figure in D.C. (or at least that's what I read) -- dates to 1922 and is a replica of an 1889 one by Paul Dubois in France. It is now its original bronze hue. I guess this is what the Statue of Liberity would look like (a la "Fringe") if cleaned/restored.

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One last picture for this entry ...

The intersection of U and 14th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 3:00AM, Sept. 23, 2012.

I had returned to D.C. (on a rather unpleasant S4 bus ride instead of by Metro) and went to Nellies, where I got imbibed by Eric's barwell and then walked home in the suddenly coolish night air (around 60F following a Saturday high of 85F) for which most of the young late night revelers were unprepared.

We need more rain.

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OK, that's all for now. Again, my next planned blog update will be on Wednesday night, assuming this new computer transport routine works.

--Regulus

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Year, Another Deceased Computer -OR- Technical Difficulties ...


Well, my home computer is no more.

I have decided to get a new home computer, except I've no idea what it will be. I'm actually thinking a used laptop for $150 would be a better deal for me than a $500 to $600 new one. I could go the route of a Tablet but with a keyboard docking station (listen to me ...) it would be approximately that much anyway.

Any thoughts anybody? Feel free to tell me "offline" by e-mail, on the phone, or in person.

In the meantime, my plan is to do as I did from August last year to April this year -- to take home my work computer PC on occasion, perhaps MWF (the latter for the weekend). I am going to take it home tonight, but I just wanted to post this update in case I am unable to connect to the internets from home with it.

So that's that. I will TRY to update this blog tonight but it may not be possible. And for the time being, my updates may be more sporadic. But one way or another, I'll post content.

--Regulus

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seasonal and Notional Autumnal Arrivals, Washington, D.C.-Style

Microsoft Windows XP "Autumn" desktop image. I've posted this image in a blog entry exactly two years ago today to note the arrival of fall 2010 after a previous hellishly hot summer.

As I related in that entry, this image was my work computer desktop image (now two computers ago). Vanity Fair contributing editor Nick Tosches obsessively tracked down where the image was taken (near Burlington, Vermont) as recounted in his Feb. 2007 article.

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Well, I planned to post a full update / entry today but the day sort of slipped past me and I'm due up in Silver Spring to go to Quill's parents' house for dinner. Later on, I plan to go to Nellies. As for last night, Andrea, I.*, and myself ended up going to Stoney's instead of No. 9. They are next door to each other. Not only was Gary there but Jamie showed up as well. We were upstairs where Howie was working.  All in all, I had a nice time, although I was quite drunk when I walked home.

*I. has an unusual first name and so I would prefer not to post it and identify him.

Forest primeval in the autumn. This is not how it looks in D.C. at the present time (see below).

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So today is the full day of autumn 2012 -- or rather, it is the Autumnal Equinox, which arrived at 1449 UTC (10:49AM EDT) when the Sun transited the Equator back into the Southern Hemisphere sky.

Though it is now astronomical / seasonal fall, it is too goddamn hot outside here in Washington, D.C., Capital City of the Empire -- with temps in the lower 80s Fahrenheit (it reached at least 84F at KDCA) with partly cloudy conditions and a gusty southwesterly breeze.

The Washington Monument as seen at dusk on Thursday, 7:10PM, Sept. 20, 2012. I walked home from work that evening. The tents were there for the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival being held this weekend.

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The only good news from my perspective -- as opposed to the local weathercasters such as the Palka-cabra creature, the LWX crew, and rightwing corporate oligarchical Republican-dominated Weather Channel -- is that a front is supposed to pass through, hopefully with some rain, and tomorrow is forecasted to be only around 73F for a high.

Here I was walking through the lobby of the Willard Mitt Romney Intergalactic Intercontinental Hotel on that same Thursday walk home from work, 7:26PM, Sept. 20, 2012. Thursday night was the only one this past workweek that I did not go to the gym.

I wonder if Willard Mittens stayed at the Willard as part of the "Luxury Hotels of the Romney Campaign" Express.

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That's D.C.'s weather: Incredibly early spring arrival, an ENDLESS frickin' smelly swamp-like hot and humid summer, a fall that never quite seems to arrive until, like, November, and then 1 or 2 weeks of something vaguely like winter, only to start the whole damn cycle over.

I HATES WARSHINGTUN WEATHER!

This was the above-the-fold front page picture in the print edition of The WaHoPo on July 7, 2012 showing Mike and Eileen Hutson (tourists from South Carolina) the previous hideously hot day near the U.S. Capitol.

The print edition of The Washington Post is (to paraphrase Paul Krugman) "Views Differ on Shape of Planet" unreadable. Only the online version is engaging with many more view points and fuller content.

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Speaking of things I hate, I need to post a new MH* / Oooza the Unloved Crow Creature** update. I want to discuss my plans for hiring a tattoo-covered, muscular SHE-MALE body guard to form part of my sprawling entourage with whom I glide about the 17th Street Gayborhood. What's the going weekly rate for something like that?

Updated at 3:35AM 9/23/2012: That would be *Matthew Wade "Tipamillyun" Henry and **David Perruzza, a.k.a., Oooza the Unloved Crow Creature.

I'd hire my sister, except I don't have one. Nor do I have a brother. In fact, I really don't have a family per se.

This (slightly blurry) image (it was surreptiously taken) is actually of the small lobby bar in the completely renovated Hotel W, 7:32PM, Sept. 20, 2012. The bizarre LED lighting and that lady's cotton-candy hair made me feel as though I had walked into some future bar, perhaps Washington, D.C., fifty years hence, September 22, 2062.

As background, this is the lobby of what was once the old Hotel Washington, a place best known for its incredible rooftop restaurant view that literally looked into the upstairs east-side fan-shaped window of the White House several hundred feet away*. I stopped there for one glass of white wine on Thursday on my walk home.  

*How it survived into the post-9/11 era, I have no idea. Nor have I checked out how it looks now post-renovation, though I hear it is different.

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OK, that's all. I'm already late to do everything. As for tomorrow, I need to finish a report for work so I won't be able to post a blog entry. My next update may not be until Monday or Tuesday night.

--Regulus

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Night Musical Interlude**

**Yes, I got this idea from Paul Krugman's blog and I've posted one of these 1979s songs before, but there you have it.


The Blackbyrds, "Walking in Rhythm" (1974)


Looking Glass, "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl" (1972)

(Yes, it's misspelled in the YouTube screen title. Oh, well.)

I'm heading to No. 9 to meet Andrea and her husband.

My plan is to update this blog tomorrow.

--Regulus

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brad DeLong on the "47% Moochers" Meme Bit of Prolefeed that Duped Willard Mitt Romney

Rainy evening in the electric city, 17th and K Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 7:19PM, Sept. 18, 2012. I was walking to the YMCA from Farragut West Metro.

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I guess I should update this damn blog. But I am just going to post the link to Brad DeLong's amazing blog entry:

The Republican Noise Machine and Mitt Romney: The Con Artist Conned.

The key point -- in regards to Willard A-Hole Romney's A-Hole revealing comments about "the 47 percent" -- is the following:

If ANY word is omitted from the following sentence: "Last year 47% of tax units paid no net federal income taxes," then the entire sentence becomes nothing but a Big GOP Lie, so much "prolefeed" for the masses (to borrow a term from George Orwell's 1984 that Paul Krugman used on his blog in a recent entry). This prolefeed is also (as noted) known as "boob bait for the bubbas."

DeLong writes (italicized below):

"Low-information voters are supposed to hear this and process it as "47% pay no taxes" and conclude "they--not me--are moochers!"

"Republican operatives and candidates are supposed to know that almost every word in "last year 47% of tax units paid no net federal income taxes" is necessary for the deception.

"'Last year' because right now the share of taxpayers is far below normal because of the lesser depression--and that is a good thing. 'Tax units' because we are talking not about a share of Americans but rather of pieces of paper flowing through the IRS. 'Federal' because lots of people pay state and local taxes. 'Income' because lots of people pay payroll taxes. 'Net' because for historical reasons we channel our Child and Earned Income Tax Credits--programs loved by, among others, Ronald Reagan--through the IRS rather than through HHS.

"Omit any of those words, and the 47% figure becomes a lie.

"And in the form that it was intended to be received--as '47% pay no taxes, the moochers!' it is a lie.


"Of the 47%, 7% points are there because of the Lesser Depression. Of the remaining 40% points, 6% points are non-elderly with incomes under $20,000/year--people who are not supposed to be paying income taxes. Of the remaining 34% points, 8% are elderly--people who are also simply not supposed to be paying income taxes at all. Of the remaining 26% points, 24% points are workers paying payroll and other taxes who are receiving the CTC and the EITC, and hence not owing 'net taxes' to the IRS. That leaves 2% points."
...


"We are, overwhelmingly, both contributors to and drawers on the national treasure--that is what it is to be a citizen.

"There should have been people to deprogram Mitt Romney when he began to fall victim to this AEI cult. Wall Street Journal editorialists should have warned him not to confuse the 'prolefeed' they distribute with the way the world actually works. Economic advisors like Eddie Lazear ought to have straightened him out about the state of the labor market, while Harvey Rosen and Greg Mankiw ought to have convinced him that you would not expect Social Security recipients to pay income taxes. Somebody should have told Mitt Romney that roughly half of those who are currently paying no income taxes will vote for him in November.

"Does Romney spend so little time talking to real policy advisors that these issues never came up?

"Does Romney suffer from CEO disease to such an extent that pointing out that he believes something that is not true is such a career-limiting view that nobody dares do it?

"Whatever: in this case one of the con artists has managed to get himself conned."

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Speaking of AEI (home to that corporate moral gigolo James K. Glassman) ...

Here is sidewalk outside of AEI on 17th Street NW in Washington, D.C., s seen on a rainy evening at 7:24PM, Sept. 18, 2012. Of note, my walk from Farragut West Metro to the YMCA takes me right past that place.

Of note, my walk home -- if I do it up 17th Street -- takes me right past JRs, where the D.C. Gay Mafia have been headquartered for, like, 20 years now. Well, at least 12 years.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be Friday evening or over the weekend. I'm not going to promise what will be the topic or content.

-- Regulus