Tuesday, March 8, 2016

High Tension T&D: GOP Establishment Hit by 1,000 Megawatts of Donald Trump Crazy; Fred Hiatt's Balancing Authority Totally Unbalanced

Row houses in the 1500 block of Vermont Ave NW just off Logan Circle, Washington, D.C., 5:18PM March 6, 2016.


I'm getting a late start on this blog entry, as I figured I would. I also don't have many pictures for this entry.

I got back from the gym after a decent multi-part workout over the course of about 3 hours. This followed an OK day at work in which I was busy looking up various large investor-owned utilities' annual reports to clean specific kinds of information on grid modernization and smart grid activities as well as generation, transmission, and distribution assets to look for patterns or trends from since ARRA.

I am putting together a large spreadsheet along with a series of smaller ones. Except I'm not quite sure what to do with all this information.

We have an all-hands meeting (teleconference) at 5PM to discuss the still-dire financial situation with the company. I've no idea what the news will be. Thereafter, I am meeting a former co-worker and friend at Trade to discuss my own job situation and possible opportunities. I really don't want to leave where I am but the outlook is almost paralyzing in terms of where things stand, and I have to think about my own situation (yes, "look out for number 1").

Later (it being a non-gym night), I am going to Floriana to watch the primary and caucuses results swoop in (although probably not from Hawaii -- that won't be until dawn Eastern time). Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii are voting with both Democratic and Republican primaries or caucuses. (I think Hawaii has caucuses.)

A cherry blossom in bloom in Arlington, Va., March 6, 2016. Picture taken by Erinn Shirley and reposted from Flickr to this CWG entry.


The weather today was sunny and mild and dull with a high of 66F at climate station-useless KDCA and KIAD and 65F at KBWI -- and it promises to be more of the same, although even warmer, for the rest of the week with highs reaching all the way to frickin' 81F or so on Thursday and no goddamn rain until at least the weekend.

The cold months are over and soon it will be that scuzzy, soupy, smelly hot months time in D.C. that I hate but that seems to titillate so many folks (especially women -- why do so many women like hot weather??).

Yours truly at Floriana last night, Washington, D.C., 7:54PM March 6, 2016.


As an update, on Sunday I was able to buy a new LG flip-open phone to replace the one I inadvertently damaged on Saturday night, or rather, very early Sunday after I got home from Nellies, where I went for the first time in a couple months. (I also went again late Sunday afternoon for a bit.)

Nellies, Washington, D.C., 4:45PM March 6, 2016.

It was characteristically mobbed upstairs so I stayed downstairs.


I had been at Floriana and then Trade before heading over to Nellies, where I talked to bartender Derrick. The night was fine, but when I got home, I decided it was a good idea to turn the water on the tub (possibly to wash an article of clothing).

Somehow, I flipped over into the bath tub with the cellphone still in my pocket. Obviously, it got wet and ceased to function by the time I woke up (in my bed in dry underclothes).

I went to the usual Verizon store on L Street near Farragut North Metro, and I was able to get a new phone right away for only $50, and the fellow who helped me was very good. He is from New York City and we were talking what it was like there (in Brooklyn) during Hurricane Sandy.

A large house in the 1500 block of Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 5:17PM March 6, 2016.


I walked around a bit on Sunday evening -- going to a few places (Nellies, Trade, and No. 9) -- before ending up back at Floriana, where I met up with Fred before we walked home (he lives in the nice Northumberland building next to mine).

As alluded to above, tomorrow (or rather, later today) are another batch of state presidential primaries including a biggie in Michigan that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are expected to win.

The GOP Establishment -- not to mention the Beltway Gang of 500 court scribes to the oligarchical overclass and its Neoliberal World Order -- is in a frenzy over how to stop Donald Trump, and it's a beautiful thing to behold.

It's comeuppance galore and it's indeed glorious.

K Street looking west at dusk from Farragut Square, downtown Washington, D.C., 6:31PM March 7, 2016.


The (possibly self-serving) word in political circles is that Trump himself may be a bit vulnerable after the split victories on Saturday, but "Little" Marco Rubio, the erstwhile GOP Golden Boy, has a campaign that is deservedly in free fall -- and he will almost certainly drop out of the race if he craps out in Florida next week.

However, the vile and sociopathic Ted Cruz appears to be the vehicle by which the GOP Establishment and Conservative Movement, Inc., are trying to stop Trump. It remains to be seen how this plays out and who crashes faster.

About the effort to STOP TRUMP, here is a headline from tonight on the Huffington Post ...

The article in question is one by a trio of Huffington Post reporters (Ryan Grim, Nick Baumann, and Matt Fuller) and begins thusly (including headline and picture):

At Secretive Meeting, Tech CEOs And Top Republicans Commiserate, Plot To Stop Trump

"Billionaires, tech CEOs and top members of the Republican establishment flew to a private island resort off the coast of Georgia this weekend for the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum, according to sources familiar with the secretive gathering.

"The main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab? How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump."

Pity the poor billionaires. They just can't seem to buy this year's election. DRAT!

The article continues:

"A highlight of the gathering was a presentation by [Karl] Rove about focus group findings on Trump.

"The business mogul's greatest weakness, according to Rove, was that voters have a very hard time envisioning him as "presidential" and as somebody their children should look up to. They also see him as somebody who can be erratic and shouldn't have his (small) fingers anywhere near a nuclear trigger."

Yeah, but they saw George W. Bush as presidential. There's a great reality for you.

I see that the reporters are still doing the small penis innuendo. My own observations are as follows: (1) why isn't Karl Rove in jail??; AND (2) I'm not surprised that AEI -- one of the better funded rightwing think tanks in D.C. -- hosted this meeting of billionaire a-holes and their GOP political lackeys.

Oh, and then there was this part:

"AEI has held the annual forum on Sea Island for years. It's so secret that in 2015, Bloomberg News complained that no one would even say whether it had snowed.

"Federal Aviation Administration records available on FlightAware.com show that a fleet of private jets flew into and out of two small airports near Sea Island this weekend. Fifty-four planes flew out of the airport on St. Simons Island, Georgia, on Sunday -- nearly four times as many as departed from the airport the previous Sunday."

Oh, and ALWAYS WRONG Republican pundit and operative Bill Kristol was on hand to talk about whatever bullshit pops into his head.  

Huffington Post headline from March 7, 2016 explaining how the Democratic debate last night between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talked about substantive issues rather than what was mentioned at the last GOP debate.


Before I end, I would like to note this excellent Jonathan Chait piece (link embedded): Why, Exactly, Is Trump Driving Conservatives So Crazy?

In it, Chait argues that Donald Trump is terrifying movement conservatives precisely because he is revealing how "rickety" is the machine that they have created whereby white working class resentment is harnessed for the agenda of the 0.1% donor overclass. Trump is doing this by "evading" rather than "frontally" assaulting the Republican Party's unique-among-First World-conservative political parties and bizarre anti-government ideological monomania.

The upcoming GOP convention. Actually, a wildly turbulent river at Tiger Leaping Gorge in China.

I can imagine the pollution and erosion there.


Chait also argues that Trump is also disturbing the conservative intelligentsia by demonstrating what any casual observer knows: The GOP is basically a giant racket to scam the "base voter" rubes into voting for the donor class agenda. (Don't ask me about what is the Democratic Party -- something about politically correct thought police on college campuses and free-abortion-on-demand-for-all but otherwise losing elections at the state and local level.)

Chait writes in the conclusion:

"The secret fear lying beneath Rubio's accurate depiction of Trump as a "con artist" is that Republican voters are easy marks.

"The Republican Party is constructed as a machine: Into one end are fed the atavistic fears of the white working class as grist, and out the other end pops The Wall Street Journal editorial-page agenda as the finished product. Trump has shown movement conservatives how terrifyingly rickety that machine is and how easily it can be seized from them by a demagogue and repurposed toward some other goal."

OK, I'm going to change gears SLIGHTLY here (but not as much as you would think, esp. if you've been paying attention to anything I've been writing lately) ...

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Why can't everyone just listen to Fred Hiatt? We could all hold hands and sing Kumbaya while finding the "bipartisan nuance" in every GOP outrage against common decency and crackpot idea sold in between commercials for gold bullion and Hoverounds.

Fred Hiatt and his Washington Post editorial gang alone can see this "bipartisan nuance" that involves doing the bidding of the Neoliberal World Order paymasters ("free trade" impoverishment of the American working class, financialization of everything with Wall Street running riot, overclass/underclass economy) and the neoconservative warmongers on whatever foreign adventurers they are up to using other, much poorer peoples' kids as fodder -- not to mention an unimpeded Deep State military-surveillance state back here at home. Is that so much to ask for??

Is it any wonder that Wall-P is impressed with this state of affairs?

Wall-P on the day he entered into a matrimonial contractual arrangement.


Anyway, having said all that (and I realize there is some internal contradiction here), I hope Hillary does well tomorrow. I do need, however, to return in a subsequent entry to that Andrew O'Hehir piece to which I linked in this entry. There is important stuff in there to consider.

Just because I wanted to end with a pretty picture.


OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Goodnight and good riddance.


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