Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reposted: Charlie Pierce's Esquire Piece on Anti-Nancy Pelosi Dems and the GOP Propaganda Machine; Plus, the Bullheaded Bullmastiff

The Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations in the surf of the Southern Ocean along the Great Australian Bight, Port Campbell National Park, Shire of Corangamite, Barwon South West, Victoria (state), Australia.

I'm reposting in full a piece by Charlie Pierce from yesterday below. The text is broken up with some ocean / seashore pictures that I've previously posted -- if only because I think they're very nice images -- and includes a second one of the Twelve Apostles formation (of which there are actually more like eight). Click on and download them for info on them.

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Politics With Charles P. Pierce

Okay, So You Kick Nancy Pelosi Out. Then What?
Before you start calling for her exit, name some logical replacements.

By Charles P. Pierce
Jun 21, 2017

Source here.

In my time on this earth, I've seen Republican propaganda turn a decent centrist like Michael Dukakis into a signatory of the Port Huron statement. I've seen it turn a decorated war hero like John Kerry into a Francophone poltroon. I've seen it turn a radical centrist/Rockefeller Republican like Bill Clinton into a dope-smoking refugee from the Monterey Pop Festival. I've seen kindly old Tip O'Neill turned into a Thomas Nast cartoon, and I've seen Barack Obama turned into an Islamic Kenyan holy man. I've seen an audience created for every one of these manufactured creations, and I've seen that audience respond to them as if they had the firmest basis in reality.


So you will pardon me if I'm dubious of the notion that congressional Democrats have to rid themselves of Nancy Pelosi because she was so easily demonized in that Georgia special election. If it wasn't her, it would have been somebody else. To paraphrase the editor in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, if there's a conflict between the person and the legend, slander the legend.


Steve M is right on the button here. The Republicans have one brand and one brand only: Democrats suck. The articles of their electoral faith begin and end with, how best can they piss off the liberals who rent space in their heads, and how do they convince the rubes that pissing off the liberals is an actual policy prescription to stave off the economic and cultural forces that are keeping the rubes up at night? As Steve points out, you have to dig pretty deep in today's coverage to discover that Karen Handel has no public stance on the vastly unpopular healthcare bill, or that she has no clear opinion on giving gozillionnaires another huge tax cut. (Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know what those opinions are, too.) She ran against a caricature of a non-candidate as a nonentity and she won. Nice work if you can get it.


Which brings us back to Nancy Pelosi. Most of the voices calling for her to go are coming from younger Democrats, a lot of them allied with the Berniecrat wing of the party. (Ironically, the Republicans ran ads tying Jon Ossoff to Sanders, that socialist menace. Plus ca change...) I am charmed to my bones by the faith these young folks have that Pelosi's replacement would be someone dedicated to single-payer healthcare, the $15 minimum wage, and hanging banksters from lamp posts. More than likely, it would be someone like, say, Tim Ryan from Ohio, who talks the salt-o'-the-earth talk about economic anxiety, but who flipped on abortion in 2015, when it became convenient to do so, and who won an NRA endorsement in his first campaign. This development would not be to their liking.


Moreover, I've yet to see anyone who could wrangle the House caucus in this dark time for Democrats better than Pelosi has. She kept the caucus unanimous against that abomination of a healthcare bill. She's a manifestly better legislative strategist than Paul Ryan. Whether or not she is to blame for the failure of the Democrats to maintain a House majority after 2006 is an impossible question. Legislative leaders' having to bear the brunt of electoral losses beyond their home districts is a fairly flexible standard. If you want to make the case that the age of the Democratic congressional leadership makes the emergence of new faces more difficult, I'll listen to that argument, but leave Bernie Sanders out of it, because you sound like a fool.


If you're proposing to replace Pelosi, prepare for the inevitable result. The pressure on the replacement -- from Republicans, certainly, but also from the elite political media -- to work "on a bipartisan basis" with the zombie-eyed granny starver and his band of cutthroats, or to find "common ground" with the folks down at Camp Runamuck, is going to be well-nigh overwhelming. And that's not even to mention the both-siderist frenzy that will erupt during the fight to elect a new leader. Dems In Disarray is a Beltway classic. This would be its loudest revival performance in years. And, in any case, if you're demanding that Pelosi be dumped because of her usefulness as a Republican cartoon, aren't you already pretty much admitting defeat?

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Also, here is a link to Charlie Pierce's take on last night's Trump rally in Iowa and how the rubes are kept whipped up in a state of hysteria with lies and bullshit that would make Elmer Gantry blush: Turns Out People Still Buy Trump's Bullsh*t

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But lest I end on a sour note, here is an enjoyable video ...

It features a young man (where / when unknown) trying to get his quietly but relentlessly recalcitrant bullmastiff -- still a puppy but getting large enough that the dog cannot be readily moved -- into his crate for the night:




Here are some frame grabs from the video:


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The comments to this video on the YouTube page are all over the place including those hysterically (and ridiculously) claiming the dog is being abused. The main criticism seems to be that this man is upsetting and even traumatizing the dog by trying to get him into the crate.


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I just don't see that at all -- although, conversely, I'm not sure exactly how you are supposed to get a large dog such as that to obey.


The video ends right about here -- presumably because he got the dog into the crate.

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OK, that's all for now. I intend to post a BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature edition. For tonight, I'm going to an office happy hour at a rooftop bar in Southwest D.C., so it is unlikely I will post anything thereafter when I get home.

--Regulus

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Another Election, Another Democrat(ic) "Moral Victory" -OR- Over(performing) the GOP House District Gerrymandered Rainbow

Finn is counseled on the meaning of another Democratic "moral victory" (i.e., loss) -- in this case, right in his own Congressional district.

My friend Chris -- who lives in Georgia's 6th Congressional district in suburban Atlanta -- sent me this picture last night while he (Chris) patiently explained the meaning of a "moral victory" for any Democratic (or, in GOP parlance, "Democrat") Party candidate

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Ah, the "moral victory" ...

New York Times online headline on the special Georgia 6th District election results, June 20, 2017

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A "moral victory" is what we have whenever and wherever a Democratic ("Democrat") candidate loses another election victory, such as last night in Georgia's 6th Congressional district -- where the improbable Jon Ossoff lost to Karen Handel. The "moral victory" can be for any reason from rigged / hacked voting machines to gerrymandered districts to GOP voter suppression drives to Democratic apathy and division or anything else you can think of.

TPM headline on the special Georgia 6th District election results, June 20, 2017.

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Notwithstanding minor perturbations in the political spacetime fabric that made predicting the outcome of this special election quite difficult (see, for instance, this excellent pre-election piece by Nate Silver) discussing the peculiarities in the 6th District, let's face it, this was always the preordained outcome. Hell, I even practically nailed the vote totals...

Ossoff prepares to give the time-honored, say-it-by-rote "gracious Democrat concession speech."

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Or as Chris texted me: "All those Ford F-150 drivers and their beaten wives certainly were not going to vote for some pencil-neck pansexual."

Oddly enough, the Dem in the South Carolina 5th Congressional District special election to replace the reptilian teabagger Mick Mulvaney -- while still losing, of course -- lost by a smaller amount than Ossoff (3.2% to 3.7% losses).

The good news is that the faster we solidify one-party rule and the cataclysms that follow, the faster these Red State Trumpizoids meet their GOP dystopian destiny brought to them courtesy Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and freedom-to-teabag GOP pols everywhere.


Besides, I suspect this marks a high-water mark for the GOP for the next decade in that there is a sort of Yin/Yang cycle to all this crap, so the next few elections are likely to be bad for the Grand Oligarchy Party.

Oh, and the sprawling investigations into the Russian hacking of / screwing with the 2016 election and the larger kleptocratic and cognitively-dissociated intrigue of the Trump regime also continues -- and that promises to bring endless hours of voyeuristic mirth.


At this point, I'd like to add a few points from both Nate Silver and Jonathan Chait. Their respective pieces are below. Note that Silver has Dems outperforming in these four districts by 11 points -- 3 points more than Chait's figure. That's because Chait is using -- via David Wasserman -- Democratic voter composition vs. actual performance while Silver is using the Democratic result relative to national popular vote, also adjusted for incumbency in the case of congressional incumbents.

These are excerpted below (interspersed with a few unrelated pictures to break up the text).

View from my office: Monday's afternoon thunderstorm blowing across Southwest Washington, D.C., with waves of windswept rain, 3:45PM June 19, 2017

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Where Can Democrats Win? by Nate Silver

Excerpts (without embedded links):

"But in terms of the implications for midterm elections in 2018, it's much less clear that Republicans had a good night. For election forecasting purposes, the margins matter: that Ossoff and Parnell came fairly close to beating their opponents yields a different interpretation than if they’d been blown out. And South Carolina is an important data point, just as Georgia was, even if it received a fraction of as much media attention.

The earlier special elections in Kansas's 4th Congressional District and in Montana's at-large district provide useful information about the political environment also.


Democrats have gone 0-for-4 in these races. From an emotional standpoint, the outcomes have been disheartening for Democrats.

From an analytical standpoint, however, they've ranged between "not bad" and "pretty great" for Democrats as compared with their results from the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections -- consistent with the sorts of results Democrats would expect if they were on track to compete for the House next year.

All of these races have been held in substantially red districts, although how you measure redness is a key question for Democrats in how they formulate their strategy for 2018 ...

A grassy expanse of the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 7:44PM June 20, 2017.

This is part of the brand new soil / lawn / irrigation and circulation system along a large stretch of the National Mall. There was a Frisbee game occurring but I walked right across it. Screw them. They don't own or rent out that field. "Just play around him," one said.

If the sky portion of this picture hadn't come out so white -- it was actually just a regular early evening blue but my cellphone and camera are cheep -- you could have seen the Capitol dome about 3/4 of a mile away.

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Continued excerpt:

As compared to the 2016 presidential results, Democrats have outperformed their benchmarks by an average of 14 percentage points so far across the four GOP-held districts to have held special elections to date. As compared to the 2012 presidential election, their overperformance is even larger, at almost 18 points. They've also outperformed their results from the 2016 and 2014 U.S. House elections by roughly 11 points, after one accounts for the fact that the special elections were open-seat races rather than being held against incumbents.

Democrats continue to substantially outperform their benchmarks:


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For his part, Jonathan Chait wrote this piece: This Might Be the Worst Democratic Freak-out Ever.

Excerpt (again, without embedded links):

But the reason the party has lost all four special elections is glaringly simple. It is not some deep and fatal malady afflicting its messaging, platform, consultants, or ad spending allocation methods. Republicans have won the special elections because they’ve all been held in heavily Republican districts.

The special elections exist because Donald Trump appointed Republicans in Congress to his administration, carefully selecting ones whose vacancy would not give Democrats a potential opening. It feels like Democrats somehow can’t win, but that is entirely because every contest has been held on heavily Republican turf.

12th Street NW between Madison Pl and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:46PM June 20, 2017.

I think this is part of the "Victory Garden" of the National Museum of American History.

I walked home from work last night -- stopping at Baan Thai back bar for some dinner and then at Trade, where I met Mark before heading home. (Well, I also stopped into No. 9 but saw the election results on one of the TV monitors and just left.)

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Continued excerpt:

The overall measure of Democrats' standing at the moment is not whether they have won, but how they have performed relative to the partisan composition of the districts in which they are running. That gauge remains quite positive. As Dave Wasserman points out, in the four special elections, they have overperformed the partisan baseline in their districts by an average of 8 percentage points:

Democratic performance to partisan baseline in the four Congressional elections held in 2017.

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I don't know about you, and regardless of stealth / underlying improvements, but I've had enough of "moral victories" for the time being.

For me, the bigger promise -- although it is, admittedly, the proverbial slender reed -- is if the Supreme Court were to rule favorably in the potentially historic Wisconsin gerrymandering case of Gill v. Whitford that it has just agreed to hear.

A good ruling there (need I even finish that sentence?) would likely effectively upend the "REDMAP" gerrymandering initiative carried out in 2010 - 2011 by appendages of the Republican Party that locked in a massive House advantage for them nationwide until (at least) the 2020 Census (the effort for which will likely be the worst political trench warfare we've had for a Census).

The key in this case is a metric known as the "efficiency gap" that reveals "wasted" votes to include "surplus" and "lost" votes.

1200 block of Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:51PM June 20, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. Tonight is a gym night. I probably won't post a new entry but instead will work on my planned Chicago photographic finale. It is taking me longer than anticipated, and I probably need another 3 hours to finish it. I might actually wait until Sunday/Monday to post it -- that way, I can get in a Friday Night Creature Feature edition and my duo of Saturday entries posted.

For tomorrow after work, I'm planning on going to a company happy hour at a rooftop hotel in Southwest D.C.

--Regulus

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wave Action: On Phantom Blue Electoral Waves, Mid-Afternoon Squally Rain Waves, and Intense Desert Heat Waves


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First up, some political commentary ...

Jonathan Chait excerpts the highlights of a new Democracy Fund Voter Study Group report by Lee Drutman analyzing the 2016 American electorate and what shaped the outcome that gave us -- to quote the inestimable Charlie Pierce -- a vulgar talking yam as "President*":


Quoting Chait, this is a key finding:

Trump won by dominating with populists. Republicans always need to do reasonably well with populists, which is why there’s always a tension between the pro-government leanings of a large number of their voters and the anti-government tilt of the party agenda. The key to Trump’s success was to win more populists than Mitt Romney had managed. The issues where 2012 Obama voters who defected to Trump diverge from the ones who stayed and voted for Clinton are overwhelmingly related to race and identity.

As Drutman notes, "Among populists who voted for Obama, Clinton did terribly. She held onto only 6 in 10 of these voters (59 percent). Trump picked up 27 percent of these voters, and the remaining 14 percent didn't vote for either major party candidate."

What makes this result fascinating is that, in 2008, Clinton had positioned herself as the candidate of the white working class and she dominated the white socially conservative wing of her party. But she lost that identity so thoroughly that she couldn't even replicate the performance of a president who had become synonymous with elite social liberalism.

Taken from the study, below is a scatterplot of the electorate showing economic versus social views on an X-Y axis:


Chait notes that the lower right quadrant -- socially liberal / economically conservative -- representing effectively libertarianism is very thinly populated compared to the other three quadrants despite the fact there is a libertarian infrastructure in place in terms of money, propaganda outlets, and activities that give it an outsized voice.

He then adds: "But the truth is that the underrepresented cohort in American politics is the opposite of libertarians: people with right-wing social views who support big government on the economy."

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Jon Ossoff and the likely next Congressperson from Georgia's 6th Congressional District.

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As for tomorrow's (well, today's) eagerly anticipated special election in suburban Atlanta for an open House seat, I'm fairly certain how it will turn out: When all is said and done, the Republican Karen Handel will pull off a small but noteworthy victory over Jon Ossoff -- I'm going to say 53 to 46% -- and facilitated by the "late-breaking vote" that went heavily against him.

This much-vaunted "test" of Democrats strength in the early Age of Trump / GOP One Party Rule will prove -- as all such pivotal tests prove -- a big, huge failure that will get the folks at POLITICO all titillated.


Aside from Russian trolls hacking the vote-counting software being used (itself always a distinct possibility) in order to help the Republican, and despite all the early voting that may or may not have helped the Democrat, the fact remains that today's Republican Party is basically voter-proof vis-à-vis the downwardly mobile rural and exurban white working class and treading-water suburban middle class white counterparts that form its core supporters.


Thanks to a powerful white ethno-nationalism and a half century of the Republican Party's "Southern Strategy" writ large -- not to mention all those gerrymandered House districts and the wonderfully "efficient" distribution of white voters -- there is nothing that today's Grand Oligarchy Party can do by way of reverse class warring ever to get these people to stop voting against their own socio-economic interests.

Uninsured Americans -- total actual and forward projected -- from 2001 to 2026 including under the House GOP abortion of a healthcare bill.

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You can take away this group's health insurance -- as the Senate's Ur-Daddy of Political Amorality Mitch McConnell is actively scheming to do in a wholly secret process that will resemble the basic structure of that abortion of a House GOP health bill -- and their jobs, not to mention their clean air and clean water and safe food -- hell, even their children -- and give them a hellish "free market" corporate oligarchical dystopia in return, and they'll still respond Pavlovian dog-like to all the buzzwords about "Hollywood elites," "Nancy Pelosi Democrats," and "ObamaCare" (make sure to capitalize the "C" in Obamacare) and vote for the GOP.

A representative sample of Trump's conned "base" at a rally in Tampa last year -- a.k.a., E-Z Marks Galore.  

Forget the fact that half the Trumped-up populations of West Virginia and Mitch the Bitch's Kentucky depend on Obamacare for their healthcare -- these people will do what Fox News and the larger, incredibly well-funded GOP Media/Entertainment Complex tell them to do.

Naturally, there will be exactly ZERO electoral consequences for them after the Senate and House GOP ram through their bill -- a trillion dollar tax giveaway to the superrich derived from stealing insurance from the working poor. In fact, they'll probably pick up seats. That's how these things go. It's what makes frickin' God happy.


And to that point, here is a must-read piece from earlier this month by Andrew O'Hehir -- now the Executive Editor of Salon -- on Dems 2018 prospects (link embedded): Forget the "blue wave" -- the sequel: Can the Trump resistance survive the Democratic Party?

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A brindle bullmastiff; source image here.

I love bullmastiffs. I miss Borky -- she was the bullmastiff my dad had back in my 1970s New Jersey childhood.

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Turning to the weather, there were showers and thunderstorms earlier today (well, yesterday) as a squall line powered across the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas between about 2 and 6PM with waves (well, maybe "curtains") of wind-driven rain.

Some regional radar images ...

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 2:30PM - 3:05PM June 19, 2017.

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Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 2:35PM - 3:10PM June 19, 2017.

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Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 3:10PM - 3:44PM June 19, 2017.

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A wind gust of 52MPH was clocked in the hourly observations at KDCA and rainfall totals for the day were as follows:

KDCA: 0.53"
KBWI: 0.91"
KIAD: 0.62" (includes 0.01" in the early morning)
KDMH: 0.46"

There might be some additional light rainfall in the wee hours followed by partly cloudy and seasonably warm (highs around 88⁰F) and humid for the rest of the week. The next chance of showers and t-storms is later in the week.

Southwestern U.S. heat wave ...

Weather infographic issued by the PSR NWSFO for the Arizona heatwave.

I like the "Seek air-conditioned buildings or operate air-conditioning, despite financial cost."

Updated / Noted 1:02PM 6/20/2017: I updated the infographic to include the most recent one.

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Meanwhile, Arizona and much of interior California are the in the throes of a ferocious heatwave. It reached 118⁰F at KPHX -- tying the daily record high that was set, ironically, one year ago. I believe this ties for 5th hottest ever.

The all-time KPHX reading is 122⁰F. Yuma (KNYL - Marine Corps Air Station) reached 115⁰F -- but well below the 120⁰F set a year ago today. Death Valley could reach 127⁰F this week.

I couldn't live in that kind of climate even with ubiquitous a/c.

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Yours truly at No. 9 yesterday, Washington, D.C., 6:19PM June 18, 2017.

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As a brief update, I'm home at this late hour and getting ready to go to bed. I went to the gym earlier tonight. This followed a slow day at work. (I should be busier next week.)

OK, I think that's all for now. I intend to post my final batch of Chicago pictures in a day or two.

--Regulus

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for June 17th, 2017: The Exodus, Corroboree, and Soul Food to Go Edition

Let's start out with something old school jazz ...


"Exodus" by Eddie Harris and his quintet on his Exodus to Jazz album (1961)

This is the kind of music I love to hear played live late at night -- such as at the very nearby restaurant JoJo Restaurant and Bar (where there is live jazz almost nightly).

There is a slightly (and unintentionally) topical connection to this in that Eddie Harris wrote music for The Bill Cosby Show (not to be confused with The Cosby Show or Cosby).

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Next up, a visit to the New Age Dreamtime side ...


"Corroboree" by Mars Lasar from his album The Eleventh Hour (1993)

The term "corroboree," of course, has a very special meaning to the Aborigines -- and this New Age instrumental incorporates Aboriginal themes and sounds to include, necessarily, some didgeridoo action.

Here is Mars Lasar's website and it includes his bio.

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We'll conclude with a curious and wonderfully upbeat song by a group that I've been terribly remiss in not previously featuring in my Jukebox Saturday Night series ...


"Soul Food to Go" by The Manhattan Transfer from the group's album Brasil (1987)

This is the music video that accompanied the release of this song 30 years ago. The quality of the video is a bit grainy / blurry, but it features miniature clay animation versions of the quartet.

The Manhattan Transfer was founded in 1969 and -- as the Wikipedia article notes -- "has explored a capella, vocalese, swing, standards, Brazilian jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music" in the intervening decades.

The Manhattan Transfer quartet in 2008; Left to right: Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, and Tim Hauser.

The lead singer in this video is founding member Tim Hauser, who passed away in Oct. 2014. The others, I believe, are Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, and Janis Siegel -- and all three remain active members of The Manhattan Transfer. The other current member is Trist Curless along with the group's pianist and music director, Yaron Gershovsky.

I definitely need to feature more of their music.

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OK, that's all for now. For an update, please see my previous entry.

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for June 17th, 2017: The Nearly Suddenly Summer Edition -OR- Humiture Maritime Tropical Tales

**This entry was posted June 17th, 2017.**

A cumulus congestus cloud seen from 14th and W Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 6:55PM June 17, 2017.

The airmass today and tonight is a maritime tropical (mT) one with a southerly / southeasterly flow across the region and dew points in the low to mid 70s Fahrenheit range all day -- without the usual midday drop as convective mixing takes hold. Highs were just under 90⁰F area-wide including 89⁰F at KDCA, 88⁰F at KBWI, 86⁰F at KIAD, and 87⁰F at KDMH.

Despite the cloud formations, there were few showers and thunderstorms today -- they once again failed to materialize -- although KBWI had a rain shower around 5PM that dropped 0.04". However, last night, there was a thunderstorm here in the immediate D.C. area and even KDCA picked up 0.36" of needed rainfall.

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Another Saturday night.

It's 9:27PM as I write this -- and there is still a touch of deep blue dusk remaining low in the western sky as I can see from my 5th floor apartment.

The summer solstice is just several days away and thus we are at just about the longest days of the year in terms of daylight hours, although the latest sunsets actually occur a week to two weeks after the first day of summer (while the earliest sunrises have already occurred). (The absolute latest that I have ever seen any remaining daylight at this latitude at the latest sunsets is about 9:55PM -- it never quite touches 10PM -- EDT.)

Intersection of 14th and K Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 9:01PM June 14, 2017.

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I'm home having just done several loads of laundry and now cooking a bit of dinner -- well, mixing Campbell's beef with country vegetable soup in some leftover jasmine rice and broccoli and heating the whole thing in a pot. I do plan to go to dinner later tonight -- either at Old Ebbitt Grill Old Bar or Logan Tavern.

The row houses in the 1900 block of 16th Street NW at dusk, Washington, D.C., 8:51PM June 16, 2017.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, in all my years -- decades -- here in D.C., I've never actually been in any of these stately row houses that line 16th Street between P and U Streets. Very (super) rich people own them and they seem to get rented out to high-end yuppies, trust fund babies, and attractive millennials.

Well, actually, I was in one once -- the one at 1601 16th Street -- way back in 1994 or '95 in a hookup. I was living in College Park at the time.

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The row houses in the 1800 block of 16th Street NW at dusk, Washington, D.C., 8:51PM June 16, 2017.

I was walking to D-I-K bar to meet Fred.

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Yesterday after work, I went to Columbia Heights on the Metro and to Target and Payless Shoes. I bought a foam mattress topper -- which I use as a sort of pad atop which go my quilts and other blankets and pillows (and stuffed animals) for my bed on the floor. Lacking even a mattress, it has often been dubbed by others (after I describe it to them) as a nest rather than a bed. I got the razors that I much prefer (they're relatively cheap at Target).

I also bought a new pair of sneakers at Payless. This follows a shopping expedition to the Metro Center Macy's on Thursday after work where I bought a new pair of Rockport shoes that I quite like and two shirts and a new belt. Of note, I budgeted $200 for all of these "clothing and other bulk purchases" this pay period -- and ended up spending $200.05 in all, or one nickel over.

Blurry image of a wet night on 17th Street near Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 10:49PM June 16, 2017.

As you can (sort of) see, it was raining at this point. As noted, there was as thunderstorm last night that dropped some needed and welcome rainfall in parts of the District. As for me, I was walking from Annie's -- where Fred and I went after D-I-K bar -- to No. 9.

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Oh, yes, I also bought a box fan just in case the one I have dies on me. That sometimes happens -- the motor will basically burn out and I wake up to silence and stillness (other than my window a/c that I also keep on).

Blurry image of a wet night in the 1600 block of Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 10:51PM June 16, 2017.

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Walking back home -- on Irving Street to 16th Street and then along 16th Street down the "hill" past Meridian Hill Park -- was a real pain in the ass. It was thickly warm and humid as hell, and I was sweating profusely. I hate that. It was also very gloomy. In the end, we actually had a thunderstorm last night that dropped some needed rainfall.

Summery afternoon view, 2100 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:29PM June 17, 2017.

I was walking to the gym. Note the rainbow -- that's in the yard of Augustana Lutheran Church, where every day of the year is LGBTQ pride day.

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Later, I met Fred at Dupont Italian Kitchen (D-I-K) upstairs bar and then we went to Annie's upstairs. (Everything was fine.) Later, I went to No. 9. The problem, though, is that I really didn't eat a proper dinner, and I had a horrible headache this morning, or rather, early afternoon when I got up.

Nevertheless, I made it to the gym by about 335PM.

Cumulus clouds as seen in the 1300 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C. 3:34PM June 17, 2017.

This is right by the YMCA Anthony Bowen where I go.

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While there, I just couldn't do the hour-long jog. I barely got in a half hour -- and even then, there was some walking involved. So I only got up to 2.53 miles instead of my planned 6-miles plus 0.34-mile/5-minute cool down. (I was able to do that on Thursday when I went there.) However, I had a rather good weightlifting routine that lasted about 75 minutes and then a bit of a core workout before a decent swim.

So all in all, it was a good workout. As for the jogging, it has become problematic. I don't intend to cut it out entirely but I just can't do 6 miles on the treadmill every time I go to the gym.

The Sun shines through a gap in a cumulus congestus cloud as seen from the 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:03PM June 17, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. I was going to post some political commentary -- anything anti-Trump / anti-GOP -- but I'm not going to go down that road right now. Instead, I need to put away my laundry / make my bed (since I washed some of the quilts) and head out to my usual two places (No. 9 and Trade) before going to OEG.

Another view of the Sun shining through a gap in a cumulus congestus cloud as seen from the 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:03PM June 17, 2017.

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Tomorrow -- Sunday -- is my oft-described free day. My plan is to get up earlier than I usually do -- i.e., around 11AM rather than 2PM -- and take a walk. I think I'll go to Silver Spring and walk to Bethesda via the Georgetown Branch Trail and then stop in Bethesda for lunch.

My next planned entry will be late Monday or early Tuesday. Of note, I am in the process of posting my last batch of pictures -- 33 or 34 in all -- from my Chicago trip earlier this month, specifically, the ones I took on my last full day there (June 2nd).

OK, that really is all for now. Jukebox Saturday Night entry to follow momentarily (as I have already composed it) ...

--Regulus