Monday, February 29, 2016

Feb. 29th, 2016: Leaping Into the Whirlwind -OR- Getting Ready for a Super-Duper Tuesday

A veiled Sun in the morning sky seen through a silhouetted tree at Farragut Square, Washington, D.C., 10:07AM February 29, 2016.


I am in a hurry to post an entry before this calendar day ends since it is Leap Year Day 2016. Actually, I'm probably going to have to momentarily post this and then put it back into draft before I complete yet in order to have a timestamp of Feb. 29th.

Yes, I know that's cheating. Too bad. As the late, little-missed* Tony "Three Fingers" Scalia might have said: Get over it.

*That is, outside of rightwing judicial activist circles, which are responding accordingly following his death.

Another view from Farragut Square, Washington, D.C., 10:07AM February 29, 2016.


Now it turns out that I did in fact post an entry on this blog the last time it was Leap Year Day (or just Leap Day?) in 2012.

That was four months before I rejoined the gym, and I was nearly 40 pounds heavier (and more like 45 pounds of fat heavier).

Now I started this blog four years before that in 2008 -- also a leap year -- but my very first entry appeared in mid-April or about 6-1/2 weeks after the leap year day.

Since it is Leap Year Day, let's take a moment to remind ourselves how it works: Every four years (and always an even year) is a leap year except for the century year, unless the century year is divisible by 400.

Thus, 1896 and 1904 were leap years, but 1900 was not, just like 1700 and 1800 were not. However, 1600 and 2000 were leap years. 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not be leap years but 2400 will be.

Got it?

I can't even imagine what the world will be like in that far off time.

There was this enjoyable article on about how "Leap Day babies" -- those born on Feb. 29th -- experience life. (Normally, I dislike because of its Ezra Klein-style of endlessly technocratic and self-righteously pedantic pieces on just about every conceivable topic.)

It features interviews with 8 such individuals and they talk about when they celebrate their birthdays and other oddities because of their unusual birthdays.

Yes, Tony Robbins is a leap year baby (1960), as is the rapper Ja Rule (1976).

Tony Robbins is one strange fellow. Oh, and he's 6'7", according to Wikipedia.

Speaking of the gym, I just got home from it where I had a good multi-part workout, and now I'm cooking dinner. I'm making pork chops, steamed jasmine rice, and steamed broccoli. (OK, I did have a bunch of Pringles salt-and-vinegar-flavored potato chips.)

The bar at Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda, Md., 3:54PM February 28, 2016.

Yesterday, Quill and I went there and had a wonderful time. I really like that place.


For tomorrow, I am not going to the gym but instead I'm going to first stop at Metro Center Macys to buy some more socks, boxer briefs, and t-shirts. I'm presently in a phase where I am turning over nearly all socks and a significant portion of the others.

Dupont Circle Metro escalators from the subterranean station to heaven Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:35PM February 28, 2016.


Thereafter, I'll stop at Trade and then go to Floriana to watch the fireworks, as it were, of the Super Tuesday multi-state primary results swoop in. To be clear, it is possible that Trump won't do as well as expected, esp. with the onslaught against him (see below) but he could also sweep up multiple state victories.

We'll know tomorrow night.

Of note, the Republican Party establishment and the mainstream media -- especially the cable news-and-commentary channels -- are in a frenzy the likes of which I've never seen, specifically, over Donald Trump ahead of tomorrow's Super Tuesday multi-state Republican primaries and the idea that he could win big in a number of states while Cruz and Rubio split the bulk of the remaining vote.

Suitably hysterical Huffington Post headlines from earlier today about Donald Trump and what his victories on Super Tuesday could mean.

The picture of Trump with Romney was taken back in 2012 when he endorsed him.


Today and tonight, it was no holds barred as the media (esp. CNN and MSNBC) tried to paint Donald Trump as a Ku Klux Klan-loving racist. It was prompted by some (obviously intentionally) weirdly phrased comments Trump made in response to being asked about the support David Duke and his ugly ilk have thrown to Trump. Jonathan Chait had an interesting take on it -- comparing Trump's repeated use of the phrase "I know nothing" to the Know Nothings of the 19th Century.

Chait concludes: "Possibly Trump is making a clever historical reference that he will later explain when he reveals that his entire political profile from 2011 through 2016 was a form of guerrilla theater designed to smoke out the widespread appeal of Republican racism. Or else, more likely, he is even stupider than anybody previously believed."

From where I sit, the beauty of what is happening on the Republican side this primary season is that the party drew up rules after the 2012 season to wrap up the nominating process more quickly, and in the process, created a situation perfect for Trump to hijack, esp. with Texas voting tomorrow (and Cruz likely to win there and only there).

Dusk as seen in the 1700 block of Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:43PM February 29, 2016.

The illuminated building is the Cairo, which predates and is ultimately the reason for the building height restriction in D.C.


For me, obviously, I don't want a Trump presidency -- and I think that is extremely unlikely -- but the idea of either a slimy fake-fundamentalist huckster such as Ted Cruz or a wind-up doll robot of the 0.01% billionaire donor class in the form of Marco Rubio (who subscribes to the whole dreadful "movement conservatism" bullshit) as president (in the event either beat Hillary Clinton) also fills me with dread.

Yet the GOP Establishment and the Beltway media (think Fred Hiatt) are frantic to have another overclass-approved zero-sum presidential race to ensure the destructive neoliberal world order survives another year (while keeping the GOP rubes ginned up on movement conservative nonsense).

In this sense, neither the establishment, nor the mainstream media / punditry, nor the oligarchical overclass comprehend what is really going on this year -- and what Trump means to so many voters (and not all Republicans).

Fred Hiatt's Washington Consensus in action.


As for Democrats, I don't even know what to think of them, except I'm glad that Bernie Sanders is turning out to be more of a useful political gadfly than a real threat to Hillary since there is no plausible scenario in which he -- a septuagenarian Jewish self-avowed Socialist who has embraced Fidel Castro in the past -- could carry more than a handful of states and be wiped out, McGovern-style.

1972 presidential election results by county; red is for Nixon and blue is for McGovern with degree of shading indicating margin of victory.

McGovern's only electoral college victory was in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia for a grand total of 17 versus Nixon's 520. The scale of this victory makes Nixon's paranoia and the whole Watergate debacle all the more baffling.


The Republican primary has turned quite crude in the past few days as Rubio tries to emulate Donald Trump with the gratuitous insults -- even making indirect jokes about Trump having a small penis (because apparently he has small hands) -- but how this is supposed to make the self-described "Disciple of Ronald Reagan" more electable and even loveable is beyond me.

For his part, Trump's twitter feed has been lit up with a fire hose of invective at "Little Marco." If there is one thing Trump does well, it's insults.

Josh Marshall had a good take on it when he wrote the following:

"Trump's insults are childish and often silly. But they are almost always very well targeted and slash at some deep vulnerability in his victim. Rubio's off calling Trump orange and small-handed and saying he's flying on 'hair force one.' These rips must sound awesome if you love Rubio and hate Trump. But actually Rubio is just flailing."

The full piece is here (link embedded): Too Weak a Reed.

And with that, I will wrap up hits entry -- but not before we end with a Leap Year Day conundrum for Wall-P:

"Uh, oh, Wall-P. A deep-pocketed client is on Line 2. Staff is on Line 2, and she's pissed. And your money is on Line 3 and the frickin' Dow just fell 400 points. How do you respond?"

"Eh. Eh. Ehehe. The obvious correct response is to follow the path wherein the most power and greatest amount of money are to be realized regardless the immediate implications. Therefore, we conclude --"

"Ohhhh, shut-up, you silly stooge-bot. Why do I even bother asking?"

OK, that's all for now. Oh, yes, I should mention that while I want to do a Monday / Wednesday gym schedule, owing to an office happy hour on Wednesday, it is going to be again Monday / Thursday.

Two young guys walking their basset hounds, standing at the corner of P and 15th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 5:52PM February 28, 2016.

I was talking to No. 9, where I stayed for a while (meeting with Gary) before going to Trade and then heading home. (I had silly conversation with a guy who insisted that Earth's orbit around the Sun is a spiral. Bartender Jose heard the conversation. As he insisted upon that, I said simply, "This is a silly conversation.")


My next update will be in a day or two (but probably not tomorrow night). Oh, yes, I didn't actually complete this entry until 1:31AM March 1st. Boo.


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