Thursday, May 19, 2016

More Andropausal Night Sweats: Late Night Second Thoughts on Donald Trump as GOP Presidential Nominee (Plus Some Topically - Unrelated Photos and a Brief Update)

The Milky Way as seen in a truly spectacular image picture taken on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Wayne Pinkston.

This photo and the one at the bottom of the entry came from a Google image search. However, the site itself -- "LightCrafter by Wayne Pinkston" -- has apparently "expired" so I can't link directly to the images.

As for the other images in this entry, it includes some pictures that I took last weekend and this week that are topically unrelated to the political commentary.


So I know that I wrote on this blog last month that I wanted Donald Trump to be the GOP presidential nominee. I did so on the basis of the belief -- hope -- that he would blow up the Republican Party as it exists in its present form as outlined in the seminal Rick Perlstein piece 2012 "The Long Con" on the massive racket of mail-order conservatism.

A bottle of Lustau sherry on the bar at the Old Bar of Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 12:41AM May 15, 2016.

I went there on Saturday night for dinner and had a sherry for dessert. The place was overrun with police officers in D.C. for National Police Week. I was next to a gaggle of large, stocky New York State Troopers in suits from the "NYSTBPA."

In that dim, late-night setting, drinking away, and dressed like that, they looked more mafia than state troopers. Just sayin' ...


It was also on the basis that Trump was a serious blow to the dominate neoliberal world order ideology and system that has so destroyed the internal American fabric, especially the country's working class.

Finally, I just didn't want to risk having a Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz presidency.

Sidewalk along 15th St near T St NW, Washington, D.C., 1:27PM May 15, 2016.

I was walking to the Bike Rack to give away (donate) my old bicycle. (It had a partial flat, so I couldn't ride it.)


However, I also realized this could potentially blow up if Trump in fact defeats Hillary in November and governs -- as it more likely than not -- as an authoritarian quasi-fascist, but with the hope that he would be much closer to Berlusconi than Mussolini.

Rose bushes, 15th and T Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 1:27PM May 15, 2016.


That likelihood of a Donald Trump victory -- at least from the vantage point of mid-May, 5-1/2 months out, and before a long, hot summer of likely turbulent political conventions -- seems to be growing as Trump's polling numbers have improved dramatically since he effectively wrapped up the Republican nomination.

Chart of aggregate polling average trend in hypothetical matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, April 2015 - May 2016. Source: PollTracker,


On the Democratic side, the Sandernistas are increasingly acting like a cult rather than a political faction within the Democratic Party with Sen. Sanders himself going on and on about how "corrupt" is the nominating process and how his nomination is being "stolen" by the DNC and Hillary and her corporate benefactors.

The 1500 block of T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:27PM May 15, 2016.

It was such a lovely, cool, breezy day.


What happened in Las Vegas over the weekend at a state Democratic convention and in the aftermath -- thrown chairs, profanity, and death threats -- was ugly and as Paul Krugman noted in this blog entry, Sanders's reaction was very telling and in a bad way.

Bernie Sanders supporters.

The Kool-Aid is THAT way.


By refusing to concede (despite the numerical near-impossibility of him winning enough delegates) and instead whipping up his idealistic young supporters into such an enraged frenzy, Sanders is setting a favorable condition for a Trump victory. Were he to run as an independent, this would really help Trump. Indeed, it's start to look a bit like Ralph Nader 2000 all over again -- being a spoiler for the sake of it in service of some cockeyed utopian dream.

Ed Kilgore, a Sanders supporter, had this good piece (link embedded): Sanders Needs to Talk Down His Supporters and Explain That Nothing Is Being 'Stolen'.

A strange little trickling fountain filled with dolls and bric-a-brac in one of the small yards in the 1400 block of Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., about 135PM May 15, 2016.

One of the figures had a small Donald Trump cut-out picture on it and the tiny sign reads, "Making Mexico Great Again."


As for Trump, he seems to be taking a turn toward being a more "conventional" (read: far rightwing) Republican with a variety of moves, most dramatically releasing a list of 11 possible Supreme Court nominees, all rightwing Republicans and at least five "approved" by the frickin' Heritage Foundation.

Donald Trump mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski's physical disability at a rally last November.


Regardless, though, Trump himself has no set core of beliefs except to be a sort of American-style fascist and probably pathological megalomaniac.

The Cairo as seen from its Q Street side, Washington, D.C., 1:44PM May 15, 2016.

The Cairo is the proximate cause of why D.C. has the height restriction on buildings, but I'm not going to go into that now. I was walking to the Dupont Circle Metro.


My take on it is that Trump is doing this sort of stuff to quell any would-be rebellion by the conservative intelligentsia (such as it is) that despises and is horrified by him.

While the Trump phenomenon has shown the Republican Party base voter doesn't give a damn about "movement conservative" ideology ...

... this inverted Trotskyite intellectual faction (in this case, led by that troublesome "renegade Jew") within the GOP's political / media infrastructure is still important to have -- if not as an ally, at least not actively opposed to him.

Releasing this list on possible Supreme Court picks this throws the faction an important bone to chew on for months -- and Donald Trump is smart enough to know that.

The bar at American Tap Room, Bethesda, Md., about 230PM May 15, 2016.

I got up to Bethesda on the Metro unusually fast (with a Metro train just entering Dupont Circle as I got to the platform), all the more so for a weekend with all the interminable track work and single tracking. I couldn't wait for Quill -- who was delayed -- so I had some lunch here. Later, we went to Mon Ami Gabi where I had some bread, butter, wine, and coffee.


As for Hillary Clinton and her electability, I'm increasingly worried that she just can't win. The issue is that she is simply too hated by too many people and for the past quarter century (except during her tenure as Secretary of State), the Republican media-entertainment complex and the larger mainstream corporate media have basically criminalized her very existence.

The exterior patio of 4340 East-West Hwy, Bethesda, Md., about 330PM May 15, 2016.

4340 is one of three buildings that collectively make up "Bethesda Towers." I worked in it for a horrible year (in 2008) at the Japanese turkey farm. This was followed by an even worse nightmare of a year as a 1099 "independent contractor."


Just this month, we've been treated to two more bullshit Clinton scandals -- both seemingly still-born, namely, the evidence-free, but breathlessly-blared "Guccifer" nonsense (related to the ever-metastasizing email scandal) and another Clinton Foundation award whack-a-mole story. Oh, and the Republican Benghazi farce shows no sign of ending.

The Madame.


I'm going to wrap up my political commentary, but I would like to note this great piece by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters from last week on all these bullshit Clinton scandals ginned up by GOP scandal machine with the open and active assistance of the D.C./political press corps -- ultimate enablers of what is now nearly a quarter century of nonstop efforts to take down Bill and Hillary through whatever warped truths or just made-up-on-the-fly lies.

I can't do it justice without posting all of it, so just read it. Note the Watergate versus "Benghazi-Email-gate" timelines and outcomes.

Yours truly on a Metro Redline train passing through Grosvenor station, 546PM May 15, 2016.

It would be so nice if the train operators could learn to pronounce the name "Grosvenor" properly -- the "s" is silent. Oh, and the ride back to Dupont Circle on the Metro was more normal -- with interminable delays and a 17-minute trek that took closer to 45 minutes.


I will say, this, though: It's something of a miracle that Hillary's support is as high as it is (a solid 40 percent with another 5 percent soft) given the nonstop political/media blitzkrieg against her.

True, there are things to dislike about the Clinton years -- things her husband did, in particular, Bill's awful neoliberalism / Robert Rubin economics -- but the 1990s were a different time, and it is my belief that Hillary would / will not govern like that. But, as I said, the GOP with their Beltway media and political establishment enablers, basically criminalize her very existence.

A small grill in the yard at 19th and S Streets NW, Washington, D.C., about 615PM May 15, 2016.


As a brief update, I made it to the gym tonight and made up, I think, for the extreme excess of last night's after-work "happy hour" that ended up involving five different places including four bars -- Baan Thai, Trade, No. 9, Floriana, and Larry's Lounge before walking home by about quarter to one in the morning.

Needless to say, I had a lot of trouble getting to work today.

Three young people negotiating with an Uber driver at the corner of 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., about 3AM May 15, 2016.

I neglected to post this picture higher in this entry in sequential order.


At Larry's Lounge, I had a good conversation with Bill.  We talked about the Chipmungorilla situation. Oh, and no one else from the awful cast of characters who frequent that place was there that I didn't want to see ...

Enid Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 6:01PM May 17, 2016.


The weather was cloudy and coolish today (high 66F at KDCA and 65F at both KBWI and KIAD, all of which are 9F to 11F below the normal daily high). The amount of bellyaching and whining over the extended cool and damp spell is really frickin' annoying, but I'm not going to get into that right now.

Another view of the Enid Haupt Garden, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 6:01PM May 17, 2016.


As for the gym, I had my usual multi-part workout starting with an hour-long treadmill jog and culminating in a swim and also including weightlifting and a core workout.

For tomorrow, I am supposed to go to the EERE picnic at Fort McNair, although as a contractor, I have to take time off for that.

A second astonishing picture of the Milky Way as seen above a silhouetted bare (dead?) tree from Mauna Kea; Photo by Wayne Pinkston (again, see top of entry).


Time to go to bed. My next planned update will be Friday night.


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