Sunday, January 31, 2016

Flippo the Powder Blue Plush Hippo: Multiversal Quantum Mind UNLIMITED and UNBOUNDED


Oh, Flippo, my powder blue plush hippo ...

You are a trans-dimensional being of goodness and light, ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-LOVING, capable of generating new universes AT WILL, each with its own physical laws, in the larger Multiverse. You also cleanse existing universes of evil and suffering.

Milky Way Galaxy structure, labeled. Our solar system is located on a spur off the Orion Arm (or, more formally, the Orion-Cygnus Arm).

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Here in THIS Universe in THIS corner of a TINY barred-spiral galaxy of no particular note, in the planetary system belonging to a G-type main-sequence "yellow dwarf" star, on THIS fleck of dust and water called "Earth" or "Terra," you have made an appearance in THIS time to bring salvation and joy to the strange and troubled, upright-walking hairless apes that are presently (and problematically) the dominate life form.

A large poster (compressed to fit this blog) of the Milky Way Galaxy with labeled stars. At the center of the yellow circle is our Solar System. The yellow circle itself denotes the limits of all the stars and nebula visible to the naked eye in the best of nighttime viewing conditions.

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Despite our general unworthiness and all the pain and suffering and despoliation our species has wrought on each other, other life forms on this planet, and the biosphere itself, you promise us redemption and salvation.

A close up of the yellow circled region with labeled stars.

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Flippo, you are QUANTUM MIND UNLIMITED and UNBOUNDED, we will follow you on the path of joyful righteousness that is the SINGULARITY of the MULTIVERSE to form the CONSCIOUSNESS of the MIND OF GOD.


And to think that you came into my life in 2002 in a Target along Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria, Virginia. There you were: In a pile of plush hippos, pink and powder blue.

You clever little hippo, you. Me loves you.

--Regulus

Things I Shouldn't Watch In the Wee Hours of a Weekend Night After Drinking (But Do Anyway)

**This entry was posted January 31, 2016.**



Above is the YouTube version of the incredibly riveting 72-minute documentary on the 2004 Box Day South Asian tsunami that killed approximately 250,000 people. The survivor interviews are astonishing -- as are the videos.

One of the places devastated was Phuket, which I mentioned in my most recent jukebox Saturday night entry. This mentions Phuket in a different and very awful way.

Screenshot of a video of the tsunami hitting the resort of Phuket, Thailand, Dec. 26, 2004.

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It's too bad that my betrothed, BIG Y'EYEMAH, wasn't there. She could have jumped in the ocean and created an enormous anti-tsunami. She and I would have been on our HONEYMOON -- paid for by shitty Wall-P, provided I worked some horseshit job and was its indentured servant until the end of GOP "movement conservatism" time.

The wildly roiled ocean off Khao Luk during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

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Not to worry, though, because Fred Hiatt's frickin' Washington Consensus would tell us about the "bipartisan nuance" it sees in the tsunami and how Bush's "response was commensurate the scope of the disaster" (like it did in Katrina) and why the tsunami represents "an opportunity" for American working class-annihilating "free trade solutions."

Oh, and the Washington Consensus's mascot, Benji Wittes, would start yapping about how great drones proved to be.

This image has always captivated me -- a screenshot of the precise moment the tsunami, about to inundate Khao Luk, sweeps away a clueless tourist (probably a man) who was on the beach during the "ocean drawback."

The man seems oddly clueless even at that point. I'll never know whether he survived or not.

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I had a rather nice tonight -- at Floriana, No. 9, and Trade, before walking home, although I was in my characteristic shit mood while walking home. However, I had a nice door chat with my neighbor Mike H. and his friend. Anyway, I have to finish watching this awful, in-depth documentary about the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami (see above images). I've seen it, like, three times already but can help watching it again.

I intend to post a entry Sunday early afternoon with a general update.

--Regulus

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for Jan. 30th, 2016: A Midwinter "Déjà Vu and I Got U" Edition


"A Summer Night Dream" by Euge Groove from his Born 2 Groove album (2007)

It has been a few weeks since I've done a jukebox Saturday night entry, and it is now the end of January and the depths of winter. That being the case, this song by Euge Groove seemed an appropriate way to start this edition.

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Continuing with the melodic pace ...


"Déjà Vu" by Dionne Warwick from her album Dionne (1979)

What an enchanting voice Dionne Warwick had. Her songs were magical. Yet somehow she ended up in a bad place. At least she's not doing that psychic hotline bullshit anymore (is she??).

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And let's end with something Saturday night energetic ...


"I Got U" by Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones from Dumont's EP1 release (2014)

This is a very odd video. Indeed, the video sort of overwhelms the song, which for its part has a house dance beat.

According to the Wikipedia article, the man featured in this video -- whose face you never see because you are supposed to be that person but instead only his body including his hands and feet -- is a model and actor named "Rique" that appears to be Rique Santos, but I cannot tell for sure. The woman running around with him is New Zealand model Kylee Tan.

Screenshot from "I Got U" showing palm trees on a beach in Phuket, Thailand where the video was partly filmed.

The rest of the video was filmed in (where else?) Bangkok.

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Of note, I've been having trouble coming up with the energetic concluding songs ever since I switched from regularly going to No. 9 -- where music videos are shown -- to Trade -- where they are not (indeed, there are no TVs, just a single, unobtrusive back wall "TV screen" -- my repertoire of these kinds of songs has been running dry because I don't see music videos to inspire me to post those kinds of songs.

OK, that's all for now. I was going to post a preceding "Saturday Evening Post" update but it took me so long to compose this entry that I'm just going to hold off until tomorrow early afternoon. I should have time to post an update then. I'll go to Trade and/or Floriana tonight, although I'm not really feeling that great. I did get in a full gym workout today, though.

--Regulus

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reposted in Full: Michael Brendan Dougherty's Outstanding Column on the Little-Known Pat Buchanan Advisor Who in 1996 Predicted the Current Donald Trump Phenomenon

An old house on the high prairie of eastern Montana with a storm gathering in the distance.

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I started this entry last night but was not able to post it until today.

Below is an outstanding piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty that I am reposting in its entirety. It's too late for me to try to post any update and, besides, I've been in a shitty mood all day after last night's disaster. Work was fine and I got in most of my gym workout tonight, though I skipped the core part (my digestive state remains perturbed) and the post-workout pool swim.


In order to break up the text, I am just posting a series of small town Americana images -- if only because that seems appropriate to the topic. For the most part, they do not have captions, so click / download the image for location info in the file name. (The images are, for the most part, rather depressing. I didn't start out with that intention, but that's what came through. It's too late now for me to shift to landscape images.)

The montage of Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump is one I found online that seemed appropriate as well.

Oh, and two other points: (1) for extended paragraphs with shifting font colors (other than for the embedded links), that is just to "break up" the sections a bit; and (2) the bolded, italicized Arial font sections represent excerpts of the original Samuel Francis piece and the David Frum piece (in case it isn't clear).

--Regulus

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How an obscure adviser to Pat Buchanan predicted the wild Trump campaign in 1996

By Michael Brendan Dougherty
January 19, 2016

The Week, source here.

[S]ooner or later, as the globalist elites seek to drag the country into conflicts and global commitments, preside over the economic pastoralization of the United States, manage the delegitimization of our own culture, and the dispossession of our people, and disregard or diminish our national interests and national sovereignty, a nationalist reaction is almost inevitable and will probably assume populist form when it arrives. The sooner it comes, the better… [Samuel Francis in Chronicles]

Imagine giving this advice to a Republican presidential candidate: What if you stopped calling yourself a conservative and instead just promised to make America great again?


What if you dropped all this leftover 19th-century piety about the free market and promised to fight the elites who were selling out American jobs? What if you just stopped talking about reforming Medicare and Social Security and instead said that the elites were failing to deliver better health care at a reasonable price? What if, instead of vainly talking about restoring the place of religion in society -- something that appeals only to a narrow slice of Middle America -- you simply promised to restore the Middle American core -- the economic and cultural losers of globalization -- to their rightful place in America? What if you said you would restore them as the chief clients of the American state under your watch, being mindful of their interests when regulating the economy or negotiating trade deals?


That's pretty much the advice that columnist Samuel Francis gave to Pat Buchanan in a 1996 essay, "From Household to Nation," in Chronicles magazine. Samuel Francis was a paleo-conservative intellectual who died in 2005. Earlier in his career he helped Senator East of North Carolina oppose the Martin Luther King holiday. He wrote a white paper recommending the Reagan White House use its law enforcement powers to break up and harass left-wing groups. He was an intellectual disciple of James Burnham's political realism, and Francis' political analysis always had a residue of Burnham's Marxist sociology about it. He argued that the political right needed to stop playing defense -- the globalist left won the political and cultural war a long time ago -- and should instead adopt the insurgent strategy of communist intellectual Antonio Gramsci. Francis eventually turned into a something resembling an all-out white nationalist, penning his most racist material under a pen name. Buchanan didn't take Francis' advice in 1996, not entirely. But 20 years later, "From Household to Nation," reads like a political manifesto from which the Trump campaign springs.


To simplify Francis' theory: There are a number of Americans who are losers from a process of economic globalization that enriches a transnational global elite. These Middle Americans see jobs disappearing to Asia and increased competition from immigrants. Most of them feel threatened by cultural liberalism, at least the type that sees Middle Americans as loathsome white bigots. But they are also threatened by conservatives who would take away their Medicare, hand their Social Security earnings to fund-managers in Connecticut, and cut off their unemployment too.


Middle American forces, emerging from the ruins of the old independent middle and working classes, found conservative, libertarian, and pro-business Republican ideology and rhetoric irrelevant, distasteful, and even threatening to their own socio-economic interests. The post World War II middle class was in reality an affluent proletariat, economically dependent on the federal government through labor codes, housing loans, educational programs, defense contracts, and health and unemployment benefits. All variations of conservative doctrine rejected these…

I do not know where this is but it is a wonderful color photo of small town America in the 1950s.

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Yet, at the same time, the Ruling Class proved unable to uproot the social cultural, and national identities and loyalties of the Middle American proletariat, and Middle Americans found themselves increasingly alienated from the political left and its embrace of anti-national policies, and counter-cultural manners and morals. [Chronicles]

For decades, people have been warning that a set of policies that really has enriched Americans on the top, and likely has improved the overall quality of life (through cheap consumables) on the bottom, has hollowed out the middle.


Chinese competition really did hammer the Rust Belt and parts of the great Appalachian ghetto. It made the life prospects for men -- in marriage and in their careers -- much dimmer than those of their fathers. Libertarian economists, standing giddily behind Republican politicians, celebrate this as creative destruction even as the collateral damage claims millions of formerly-secure livelihoods, and -- almost as crucially -- overall trust and respect in the nation's governing class. Immigration really does change the calculus for native-born workers too. As David Frum points out last year:


[T]he Center for Immigration Studies released its latest jobs study. CIS, a research organization that tends to favor tight immigration policies, found that even now, almost seven years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans are working than in November 2007, the peak of the prior economic cycle. Balancing the 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans at work, there are two million more immigrants -- legal and illegal -- working in the United States today than in November 2007. All the net new jobs created since November 2007 have gone to immigrants. Meanwhile, millions of native-born Americans, especially men, have abandoned the job market altogether. [The Atlantic]


The political left treats this as a made-up problem, a scapegoating by Applebee's-eating, megachurch rubes who think they are losing their "jerbs." Remember, Republicans and Democrats have still been getting elected all this time.


But the response of the predominantly-white class that Francis was writing about has mostly been one of personal despair. And thus we see them dying in middle age of drug overdose, alcoholism, or obesity at rates that now outpace those of even poorer blacks and Hispanics. Their rate of suicide is sky high too. Living in Washington D.C., however, with an endless two decade real-estate boom, and a free-lunch economy paid for by special interests, most of the people in the conservative movement hardly know that some Americans think America needs to be made great again.


In speeches, Trump mostly implies that the ruling class conducts trade deals or the business of government stupidly and weakly, not villainously or out of personal pecuniary motives. But the message of his campaign is that America's interests have been betrayed by fools.

The huge infrastructure of the conservative movement in Washington D.C. is aghast at Trump, and calls him an economic illiterate for threatening China with tariffs. They can't understand that this is not primarily an economic measure, but a nationalist one. It's a signal to voters that one man is here to fight for them, not to school-marmishly tell them that capitalism is helping them when in fact it manifestly helps others a lot more. Trump has attracted his coalition of supporters among those who are the most-weakly attached to the Republican Party as an institution.


Plenty of others have noticed the parallels between Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump. Some have seen that Trump is attracting the "radical middle" social base and taking on the Caesarist, almost Latin American-style populism that Francis recommended. Buchanan was recently asked about why Trump was having all the success that he did not enjoy, when he is running on so many of the issues Buchanan did 20 years ago. Buchanan said that it was because the returns are in on the policies he criticized 20 years ago. All of this is true.


The Trump phenomenon does seem to be sui generis. There are not squadrons of Trumpistas in the Republican Congress. And his celebrity persona, his extremely unusual and independent financial power, his felicity for not just recognizing but channeling the grievances of his supporters is unmatched. It's hard to imagine anyone else rebuilding his coalition of Middle American radicals and fringier, race-obsessed "alt-right" nationalists.

The Republican party is incredibly powerful as an institution. It will have the power to recover and return things to a sense of normality someday, even if Trump wins the nomination.


But the Trump phenomenon also seems global and inevitable. America's elite class belongs to a truly global class of elites. And everywhere in Europe that global class is being challenged by anti-immigrant, occasionally-protectionist parties who do not parrot free-market economic policies, but instead promise to use the levers of the state to protect native interests. In Russia, Putin's populist nationalism has taken over a major state apparatus, precisely to avenge itself on the paladins of the free-market.


What is so crucial to Trump's success, even within the Republican Party, is his almost total ditching of conservatism as a governing philosophy. He is doing the very thing Pat Buchanan could not, and would not do. And in this, he is following the advice of Sam Francis to a degree almost unthinkable. Here's the concluding flourish of Francis' 1996 essay:


I told [Buchanan] privately that he would be better off without all the hangers-on, direct-mail artists, fund-raising whiz kids, marketing and PR czars, and the rest of the crew that today constitutes the backbone of all that remains of the famous "Conservative Movement" and who never fail to show up on the campaign doorstep to guzzle someone else's liquor and pocket other people's money. "These people are defunct," I told him. "You don't need them, and you're better off without them. Go to New Hampshire and call yourself a patriot, a nationalist, an America Firster, but don't even use the word 'conservative.' It doesn't mean anything any more."


Pat listened, but I can't say he took my advice. By making his bed with the Republicans, then and today, he opens himself to charges that he's not a "true" party man or a "true" conservative, constrains his chances for victory by the need to massage trunk-waving Republicans whose highest goal is to win elections, and only dilutes and deflects the radicalism of the message he and his Middle American Revolution have to offer. The sooner we hear that message loudly and clearly, without distractions from Conservatism, Inc., the Stupid Party, and their managerial elite, the sooner Middle America will be able to speak with an authentic and united voice, and the sooner we can get on with conserving the nation from the powers that are destroying it. [Chronicles]


Trump embodies this in nearly every letter. He doesn't have people from the traditional Republican power structure advising him. He doesn't say he'll direct the existing members of the managerial class to make a little tweak here or there; he says he'll send his friend Carl Icahn and threaten China with a tariff wall that could repel a tsunami of cheap goods.


What so frightens the conservative movement about Trump's success is that he reveals just how thin the support for their ideas really is. His campaign is a rebuke to their institutions. It says the Republican Party doesn't need all these think tanks, all this supposed policy expertise. It says look at these people calling themselves libertarians and conservatives, the ones in tassel-loafers and bow ties. Have they made you more free? Have their endless policy papers and studies and books conserved anything for you? These people are worthless. They are defunct. You don't need them, and you're better off without them.


And the most frightening thing of all -- as Francis' advice shows -- is that the underlying trend has been around for at least 20 years, just waiting for the right man to come along and take advantage.

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Very, very good stuff. There is a lot I want to add -- in my case, about the neoliberal Washington Consensus crowd embodied in Fred Hiatt's Washington Post Editorial Board and how much the implementation of that ideology -- dovetailing with the conservative movement in a weirdly synergistic way -- has contributed as well to what this article discusses. However, that is too much to go into right now. Instead, I shall end on a lighter note ...

Jan. 29, 2016 Pearls Before Swine comic strip. Click on image for larger version.

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That is all for now. I'll try to update the blog Saturday evening.

--Regulus

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Temporary Telephone Misplacement, Long-Term Life Plans


Not that anyone other than Gary ever really texts or otherwise reaches out to me, but I have temporarily lost my phone as a result of some unpleasantness last night during a greasy, nasty dinner that has left me with an upset stomach. I might not get my phone back for a few days.

With just a few exceptions, I don't really have any friends or relationships anyway, so it doesn't matter, especially since those who are my close friends can reach me in other ways.

Also, I've decided that I will likely move in with my mom when the time comes. Ray is not in good health at all and he will not be getting any better. My idea is that we will live together somewhere in suburban Maryland -- maybe Bethesda or Silver Spring. As it is, I need to get out of Washington, D.C. I can't continue to live here, not like this.

I hate it here. I have for many years, and it isn't going to ever change.

I'm going to try to go to the gym tonight. It usually makes me feel better. It's really the only good thing I do.

Let's get this goddamn day started.

--Regulus

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

John Avignone on the Wide-Eyed, Piously Naïve Bernie Sandernistas and Some Krugman & Chait -OR- How to Ensure a President Trump (Plus Unrelated D.C. Landmark Blizzard Pictures)

This is the cover of the Feb. 1st, 2016 print edition of The New Yorker. It sorta says it all ...

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I am reposting below in its entirety a piece by John Avignone that appeared today on the always-problematic Salon.com site. It is worth a full read.

Of note, this piece has amassed 2,350 comments as of 647PM tonight, none of which I have read or will read.

I really don't have any pictures to post with it or the other two pieces I include, so I'm just going to repost images of famous Washington, D.C., landmarks and locations in the "Snowzilla" blizzard or, if you prefer, Winter Storm Jonas, that appeared in this CWG entry.

Recall that 20 to 30 inches fell area-wide, except on Mark Richards' defective National Airport snowboard and a ruler that went missing.

I am including captions to the picture but not the links to the original Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram user pages. You can find those in the CWG entry. I then post a brief update at the bottom of the entry.

**To be clear, the reposting of these images in no way means those individuals subscribe to the views expressed herein.**

--Regulus

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I have had it with naïve Bernie Sanders idealists

Take a lesson from Paul Krugman: We don't have political revolutions. This is a democracy of incremental change

By John Avignone
January 26, 2016

Source here


Jedediah Purdy, a professor at Duke Law School and occasional contributor to the Huffington Post, takes issue with liberal economist Paul Krugman’s assessment of the Bernie Sanders campaign's operating theory of change as unrealistic and naive. Krugman writes, "The question Sanders supporters should ask is, When has their theory of change ever worked?"

Purdy says it has: "To answer Krugman's question: yes, it (Sanders' theory of change) has worked. In fact, it may be the only theory of change that has ever made democracy real. It is politics for adults."

Washington Monument during blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 22, 2016; Joseph Gruber via Twitter.

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But while he insists that quixotic insurgent campaigns based on ideological purity work, it's impossible to miss that he doesn't say exactly when. He doesn't cite any campaigns that back up his assertion. The reason why is simple. There are none. As much as Purdy and Sanders supporters wish it were true, this strategy has never worked and likely never will. Since the days of Ancient Greece, ideological purity in a democratic society has been the road to ruin of every political movement and every political party that has tried it.

Washington Monument during blizzard, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2016; whattahirassees, Instagram.

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Purdy has accidentally encapsulated not just the fatal flaw in the Sanders theory of change, but also the primary flaw of his supporters. Sanders doesn't have supporters as much as he has believers. Sanders’ supporters cannot call on facts to support their fervent belief that his message of radical change is possible, because the facts do not support this belief. They become belligerent and hostile any time anyone questions this belief.

The Tidal Basin during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2016; jakelam2116, Instagram.

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That Sanders is right -- and so his followers are right -- is taken as an elemental matter of faith. Sanders represents the light and all that is good; anyone who questions this must be an agent of the dark and all that is bad.

The Washington Monument from the Jefferson Memorial as seen across the icy Tidal Basin during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2016; kentonwilson, Instagram.

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Sound familiar? It should. This is precisely the impetus behind every extremist movement in history. Sanders and his supporters too often exemplify a political manifestation of this black and white ideology. One of the consistent criticisms of Bernie Sanders throughout his career is that he's self-righteous and unwilling to entertain any position or belief that doesn't exactly match his. Back in 1991, when Bernie was still new to Congress, progressive icon Barney Frank said of him, "Bernie alienates his natural allies. His holier-than-thou attitude -- saying in a very loud voice he is smarter than everyone else and purer than everyone else -- really undercuts his effectiveness."

Gen. Lafayette equestrian statue in Lafayette Park and the White House during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016; wheresandrew, Instagram.

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The problem with Bernie Sanders and his supporters isn't ideological. The difference between Sanders and Clinton is a matter of degree more than any fundamental ideological disagreement. They both advocate moving in the same direction, but by different methods. Bernie Sanders says he will bring about a political revolution to make his dreams of a democratic socialist society come true, which seems an unlikely proposition given that the GOP is sure to control one house of Congress and may well control both. Hillary Clinton advocates a pragmatic approach: protecting the progressive gains won under the Obama administration, taking what new gains may be possible in a divided government and setting the political table to back for more later.

Union Station during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016; kevkak08, Instagram.

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Historically, it is this latter approach that has produced change. In any democratic system of government, progress is incremental. Only one time in our history as a nation have we seen such sweeping ideological change at a fundamental level happen in a brief span of time, and that change came at the price of five years of bloody civil war and some 500,000 deaths.

People sledding on the U.S. Capitol grounds during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2016; Michael Beckel, Twitter.

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Human attitudes -- and there is no more elemental human attitude than politics -- cannot be defined as simply as darkness or the light. We've tried this again and again, and it never ends well. This Democratic primary contest isn't a battle of good against evil. Hillary Clinton isn't the evil agent of the powers of greed and darkness and Bernie Sanders isn't an avenging angel or a pious saint. This is a political campaign and they are both professional politicians. While both candidates seek to highlight their differences, they have far more in common with each other than either of them does with the extremist and often dangerous positions of the Republican contenders. Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect. One candidate embodies the possible. One insists on nothing less than the perfect. Paul Krugman is right. The achievable possible is always preferable to the unachievable perfect.

The U.S. Capitol building (the dome still encased in scaffolding) during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016; richardmcgregor; Instagram.

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For his part, Paul Krugman posted the following entry on his blog -- which along with his twice-weekly New York Times op-eds are two must-reads.
 
How To Make Donald Trump President
Jan. 23, 2016

Donald Trump points at supporters during a campaign rally in Sioux Center, Iowa, January 23, 2016.

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Step 1: Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders. I don't think Sanders is unelectable, but when you look at polling, remember that Hillary Clinton's numbers reflect her standing after more than two decades of constant character assassination, whereas Republicans haven't even begun to go after him.

U.S. Capitol grounds during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016; catwile, Instagram.

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Step 2: Michael Bloomberg decides to save the country by entering the race as a supposed alternative to the two extremes (hey, centrist pundits have been urging him to do that forever, even when Barack Obama was in reality pursuing all the policies they wanted).

U.S. Capitol and large statue during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016.

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Step 3: Some Democrats defect to Bloomberg, because they actually listen to those centrist pundits. Hardly any Republicans do -- remember, two-thirds of them currently support Trump, Cruz, or Carson, and anyway they’ve never heard of Bloomberg. Also, New York values.

Step 4: Trump wins a yuuuuge victory.

U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., during blizzard, January 23, 2016; David Dry, Twitter.

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By the way, the must-read Jonathan Chait wrote this piece (link embedded): Is Bernie Sanders the New Barack Obama?

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the 3rd Democratic presidential primary debate.

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I'll just excerpt the last paragraph, which I quite like:

"Obama in 2008 believed Republicans could be reasoned out of their irrationality. Sanders today believes they can be swept aside when the people rise up and depose their corporate paymasters. Clinton, then as now, promises to grind away at them in a trench war that has gone on for decades and for which there is no end in sight. The thing Clinton has not managed to do -- and what, quite possibly, no Democrat could do after eight years of shared power -- is make technocracy lyrical."

Rock Creek Park during the blizzard, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2016; awoodash, Instagram.

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OK, that's all for now. It was another telework day as the federal gov't was closed, but the YMCA thankfully reopened at noon (and it was immediately crowded). I got in a full, multi-part workout and I feel a lot better.

It is a mildish, mostly cloudy evening with temps around 50F. The massive snowpack is steadily melting but things are still a snarled mess. The amount of shoveling that has been done by others has been astonishing.

The National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., during blizzard, Jan. 23, 2016; moonduststorm / Lucy H., Twitter.

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My own snow removal system is to let others shovel it and/or have the snow melt and/or sublimate by itself. Lacking a car or a private house, I can do that.

It is forecasted to rain tomorrow and then get much colder for the next few days, which will slow the snow melt.

The Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., during a blizzard, January 23, 2016; Rob Cannon, Flickr.

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I'm assuming tomorrow will be a regular workday. I sort of hope it is. Oh, yes, my office move to Rosslyn is now less than a week away. That is going to be a major change to my daily schedule.

--Regulus