The morning Sun over the South China Sea along the coast of Vietnam.
I've always loved this photo -- so familiar and yet in such a faraway place -- and where the awfulness of what happened nearly a lifetime ago between its people and Americans still profoundly negatively impacts our domestic politics.
Note 1: This entry contains a hodge-podge of images including some ocean ones I've previously posted. There is no particular theme to them -- they're just to break up the text. I'm not captioning those, but the file names contain their identifying information.
Note 2: I was too tired to finish this entry last night. I am posting it Friday afternoon. I am teleworking today from home while also trying to do some chores (laundry and get a hair cut).
Things are shitty.
However, let me say that I'm home now from the gym after a rather good multi-part workout, and I'm pleased about that ...
... although I'm still upset about having gained, on average, about 6-1/2 pounds, the bulk of which I know is just fat rather than muscle. Of note, tonight at the gym I weighed myself before and after a full workout and there was a difference of 2.6 pounds: 152.8 versus 150.2 pounds on the locker room electronic scale.
Even excluding a few tenths of a pound on clothes (I was dressed in my gym gear in the first but just in shorts in the latter, both times with no shoes on), this still is nearly 2-1/2 pound swing, which is good to know.
While I did my hour jog with 5 minute cool down -- reaching 6.75 miles -- it was the weightlifting and core part that were the best, and I can certainly feel it. I then went into the swimming pool for a few minutes. (The side studios are now locked when not in use, but the large one was unlocked / open tonight.)
I probably won't be at the gym now until either Sunday or Monday as I am supposed to visit my mom on Saturday and stay overnight.
Now onto the shitty stuff ...
There was another probably ISIS (ISIL?)-related mass terrorist attack in France earlier tonight with a truck plowing through a densely crowded waterfront promenade in Nice during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 84 and injuring over 200. The driver was shot dead, though not soon enough. There were reportedly explosives onboard but the truck did not explode.
At this rate, the National Front is going to win the next parliamentary elections -- which is probably the ISIS goal anyway.
A spectacular image of Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona in a photo taken July 5, 2014 by bartender Aaron on one of his many far-flung travels -- this one "only" to Arizona and Utah.
Here in nutty and religio-capitalist-insane America, Donald Trump appears to have solidified his hold the Republican Party with the D.C. Professional Movement Conservative crowd -- tools of Koch Brothers / oligarchical 0.1% overclass intrigue -- having coalesced around him and he around them (hence the likely choice of rightwinger Mike Pence as his running mate) even while Hillary appears to be in freefall in her polling.
(Having said that, I believe she has a floor of 40 percent and a ceiling of not quite 50 percent. In 2016, that would be enough to win at least the popular vote.)
Thus, it is that a fascistic, bombastic, egomaniacal, lunatic escapee from tabloid reality show world has approximately the same level of support as Hillary -- both, on average, in the lower 40s, although the garbage Rasmussen poll, which only interviews fearful, old, white geezers has Trump 4 points ahead of Hillary.
I'm not going to bother to link to any polls right now as it is still too early and things will change -- although, at this point, it keeps getting worse. The bogus "email scandal" appears to have hurt Hillary, as has the entire quarter-century-long, billionaire / foundation-funded Vast Rightwing Conspiracy to destroy her politically.
The Arkansas Project never went away -- it's just morphed over the decades, but shambles on, zombie-like, eternally.
In Trump's case, there is basically nothing he can do or say that hurts him. His political life is the inverse of the "Clinton Rules" that governs the Clintons.
Let me just say that if Trump manages to win the general election -- and in a "free and fair" way, whatever that means nowadays -- then the United States population, especially those who supported him, get precisely what they deserve in the freak-show catastrophe that would certainly follow.
Before I end with this thread, I'd like to post links to a few pieces that I had intended to post last week but never got around to it.
The first three are by the inestimable Jonathan Chait (whom I met by strange happenstance outside my apartment building on Saturday night and with whom I had a follow-up brief email exchange on Monday):
Excerpt: "[General Michael] Flynn's plan is to 'dare' Arab and Persian leaders to 'declare their Islamic ideology sick.' The good news is that Flynn issued his dare on Thursday night, at 9:04 p.m. EST time, and gave it a 24-hour period, so we will know very quickly whether it worked. The bad news is that it is highly unlikely to succeed. Political leaders are traditionally very hesitant to pronounce their own religion 'sick.' It is true that sometimes you can get a person to do something they know to be unwise by daring them, but usually this technique works on young boys rather than adults who hold political power."
July 7, 2016: How Hitler's Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump; sub-headline: Trump is no Nazi, but the historical parallels can't be avoided.
This is an excellent piece that I can't do justice by excerpting. Let me just say, though, that Speaker Paul Ryan -- aptly described by the wonderful Charles Pierce of Esquire in a recent piece as a "zombie-eyed granny starver," comes across like the reprehensible, fanatical ideologue yet inept politician that he is -- so eager to support Trump in order to get his Ayn Rand / billionaire donor class "agenda" enacted.
July 5th, 2016: The Most Corrupt Candidate Ever Is Donald Trump.
Here is the Paul Krugman piece from last Friday's New York Times: All the Nominee's Enablers.
Among those enablers is that bullshit "Fix the Debt" group -- another front group for all-austerity, all-the-time neoliberal overclass oligarchs everywhere.
Krugman has not been updating his blog much lately but he continues the twice-weekly New York Times op-eds.
Here's where M. WADE Tipamillyun and his Beloved Crow have their spiritual retreat and vacation "nest."
Finally, here is a Andrew O'Hehir great piece on the Brexit "Leave" vote political aftermath in the UK and comparing its political situation with that of the U.S. in this Time of Trump:
Tony Blair, Iraq and the struggle for the British left: Why the U.K.'s political soap opera is important.
This piece goes into some detail about the truly feckless and awful Tony "New Labour" Blair and the Iraq Inquiry, a British government inquiry into the UK's role in Bush's Iraq War. A massive 12 volume doorstopper (were it to be printed out, that is), the executive summary alone is 150 pages.
This report is also known as the "Chilcot Inquiry" for the chairman overseeing this massive undertaking, Sir John Chilcot.
How Tony Blair ended such an ass-kissing toady of George W. Bush is beyond me.
OK, enough of that.
Turning to the weather, in a word: Disgusting.
It reached goddamn 98F at KDCA
Thursday with a dew point that at noon was 76F (with a 91F air temp). (The daily record was 100F set in 1954.) Of note, we are at the warmest time of the year now with a daily average high of 89F based on the 1981-2010 normal period -- the highest it gets officially at KDCA. The overnight average low is 71F. today
There was a gusty southwesterly breeze for much of the afternoon that helped and eventually there was boundary layer mixing that lowered the dew point a tad (to about 70F) but as of the 10PM hour, it is right back up to 73F and will likely climb several degrees higher by morning even as the breeze abates. (Update before posting: Just to spite me, it went a few several degrees to 68F by morning.)
KBWI reached 96F today (its daily record was 101F also set in 1954 when the observation post had already moved from the Custom House to then-Friendship Airport).
KIAD reached 95F, 3F shy of its daily record high of 98F set in 1993. It has a much shorter record period (only back to 1963 rather than 1871).
The train trestle bridge over the Potomac River as seen from a Metrorail Yellow Line train, 11:16AM Jan. 16, 2016.
I was heading to National Airport for another one of those never-to-be-repeated snow-seeking Buffalo trips ...
with Gasy, the Chipmungorilla, where he "won" at least $1,600 in nearby casino blackjack winnings* and never shared a dime although he blurted out before the trip -- unprompted -- "I'll split half with you whatever I win.".
Thankfully, I never have to see or interact with Gasy again.
*Don't believe me? Here you go:
Everyday of GASY's life is like this -- huge amounts of money just come to him.
"Yeah, but you got GASY!" "
The heat index at KDCA reached at least 105F today and there was an area-wide heat advisory -- although not an excessive heat warning as Mt. Holly/PHI has in part of its county warning area centered on Philadelphia. For some reason, a different criteria is used there. Furthermore, frickin' Sterling/LWX has shown itself repeatedly over the years to be very reluctant to issue those excessive heat warnings -- it's a chronic issue with that forecast office.
There really hasn't been much rain this month and we are running a deficit, at least at KDCA for the month, climatological season, and year. Every time a goddamn thunderstorm tries to form, it just dissipates near D.C.
I haven't even bothered to check with the Capital Weather Gang because I hate this kind of weather and the last thing I need to do is read an Ian Livingston-written entry purring about how great it is and "10/10!" I'm also still annoyed at Jason Samenow for that silly "WORST MAY EVER!" declaration because it was, overall, cloudy and cool.
Does this intrinsically horrible (but loved by so many of the local booboisie) weather -- the opposite of such weather conditions -- make it the BEST JULY EVER??
I suppose the Sue Palka-Cabra thinks so.
I suppose the Sue Palka-Cabra thinks so.
"And you know what, Morris?? It just keeps getting better and better."
(Yeah, I know, she hasn't worked on TV with that idiot in decades.)
Anyway, given all of this, I don't want to go over to the CWG site and post comments. I hate the internet, anyway.
A fountain in Bethesda, Md.**, 4:27PM July 10, 2016.
**Or as my stepfather would say, "Bef'esda, Merlin."
OK, that's all for now. My next update might not be until Saturday night either from my mom's place or, until Sunday when I return. For tomorrow later today after work, I am supposed to meet Andrea at Cuba Libre. I'm not the biggest fan of rum drinks but I love the dark, cool, airy setting and back bar.