Friday, December 16, 2016

At the 3AM Hour of a Cold December Night: The Comey Becomes the Tsar's Trumpeted Trump

Updated 10:14AM 12/16/2016: See below.

Old Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 12:24AM December 15, 2016.


Very cold night here in D.C. and environs with the midnight air temp at KDCA proper at 18F and a dew point at -5F. Winds have slackened to about 9MPH after being gusty all day with wind chills in the single digits. KBWI is at 15F and KIAD is at 13F.

No, thankfully, nowhere near this cold

The record lows for Dec. 16th are 10F at all three airport stations -- set in 1917, 1951, and respectively. This means that the KDCA record low is a pre-airport record -- as are so many of its cold records.

It's quite possible KIAD will touch 10F, KBWI a bit less likely, and no way that KDCA will do so.

Nevertheless, as this CWG entry noted:

"Tonight will almost certainly be the coldest December morning since Dec. 22, 2008 [at KDCA], when it was 16 degrees [F]. If the temperature drops below 16, it will mark the coldest December morning in Washington since Dec. 20, 2004, when it was 11 degrees [F]."

Meanwhile, at KIAD, it was as low as 11F in 2010 on Dec. 17th and the last time it was under 10F in December was in 2002 when it dropped to 1F on Dec. 7th.

Updated 10:14AM 12/16/2016:

Preliminarily, it looks like it dropped to 17F, 13F, and 9F at KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD, respectively, this morning.

I forgot to mention that the high temps yesterday (Dec. 15th) were 40F (KDCA), 37F (KBWI), and 34F (KIAD), but these occurred in the predawn hours -- in the cases of KDCA and KBWI, shortly after midnight, and for KIAD around 3AM. The afternoon highs remained were 29F, 26F, and 25F, respectively.

It's quite an achievement in the present climate era to have KDCA remain below 30F for a daytime high.

Now to all you "it's global cooling" Teabaggers and Trumpanzees, it's nothing of the sort. Indeed, try to get out of your epistemically-closed bubble of misinformation and lies and consider this (link embedded): Abnormally warm Arctic spurs planet to second-warmest November on record.

Global land-ocean surface temperature [in Celsius] anomalies for November 2016.


This was reported by NASA. At this point, 2016 is almost certain to be the warmest year on record globally.

Once Trump and the animal-like GOP Climate Denying Know Nothings are entrenched in power, all this reporting from NASA is likely to stop. Of note, there is underway a frantic effort by climate scientists to archive all climate data on servers not belonging to the U.S. Government, including those outside the country, before it's too late.

End of Update.


This cold weather is forecasted to retreat quite quickly even as a weather system approaches for Saturday. There is a chance of a snow flake or two before the precipitation turns to sleet / freezing rain and then all rain in the Metro D.C. area by Saturday late morning. Then another cold front is progged to cross the Eastern Seaboard on Sunday with another short-lived shot of modified Arctic air and the possibility of rain ending as a brief period of snow even in D.C. proper.

I'm back from the gym after a decent multi-part workout ending with a brief swim, although I've not done any core stuff recently. I made some dinner that actually turned out not bad. Going to the gym made me feel much better. I mention this because I've been feeling absolutely awful lately.

View from my office across Southwest Washington, D.C., 1:49PM December 15, 2016.


I can't fully describe how I've been feeling, but it is headachy and cloudy-headed -- as if I'm half asleep. My work schedule has been topsy-turvy in terms of hours worked and my sleep has left me anything but refreshed. The last two or three hours is nothing but a frenzy of weird dreams (often involving flying and set in that strange, hybrid place of all the places in my waking life in some unspecified time).

I wake up feeling worse than if I had just dragged myself out of bed at 630 or 7AM when I wake up rather than going back to sleep to dream some more.

Yours truly, looking out of office window, L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 1:49PM December 15, 2016.

It was a bright, cold December day looking out across the world.


Last night, I stayed at the office until about 11PM (it's weird staying there that late as the building seems to come alive with strange noises probably related to the HVAC system). I then took the Metro from L'Enfant Plaza to Metro Center, whence I walked to Old Ebbitt Grill for some late dinner at the Old Bar. Andrea was working there and the place was quite busy even near the midnight hour midweek. I sat next to a woman who, it turned out, was schizophrenic and in a vigorous conversation with herself or whoever / whatever she was seeing and hearing.

I realized this when she appeared to ask me if I were a baggage handler at (Boston's) Logan Airport. She also talked at length about Michelle Obama and the FBI and children.

However, she didn't bother anyone else and she appeared quite high-functioning -- engaging Andrea when asked questions and paying her bill (with tip) -- before leaving with her luggage.

As for me, I had some dinner, a few drinks, and walked home by 130AM. (The drinks might be contributing to the problem I described above.)

Outdoor Christmas lights at the University Club along 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:04AM December 15, 2016.


Speaking of the FBI, I need to post in this entry excerpts of John Podesta's Dec. 15th Washington Post op-ed just for the historical record. The context of this is the ongoing story of the massive, sustained Russian Government-sponsored (through would-be modern-day Tsar Vladimir Putin himself) email hacks of the DNC and (most notably) Podesta himself in order to damage Hillary Clinton and help Trump win. This was a strategy that was ultimately successful, although it would not have been had it not also been facilitated with the help of the FBI itself, not to mention the mainstream media -- that is, not just the rightwing media/entertainment complex of Fox News Channel, internet garbage, and AM talk radio -- through months and months of hyping hysterically the bullshit email server story that ultimately cost Hillary enough votes in certain states to hand the presidency and the fate of the country to a lunatic fascist.

The farther we get from the debacle of the election, the more appalling is James Comey's decision and actions to intervene in the election to tip it for Trump (allowing him to win the Electoral College). Also more and more obvious is the extent to which the gung-ho rightwing FBI agents foaming at the mouth about Hillary were and are basically tools of Russian President and erstwhile KGB master spy Vladimir Putin.

How bizarre is that?

Anyway, here is the op-ed (link embedded): John Podesta: Something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Excerpt (without the embedded links):

"... when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT "help desk." As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: 'We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.'"

"What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton's email server."

"This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a 'painstaking' investigation of Clinton's emails, 'requiring thousands of hours of effort' from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call."

"Comparing the FBI's massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI."

"Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing 'intense public interest.' He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn't want to appear 'political.'"

"And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump's ties to Russia."

All I have to add this is: If this is Donald Trump's face:

Then this is obviously his ass:

Is it me or does James Comey's face look like someone ironed it? Sort of like when you iron a really used and wrinkled shirt. While the ironing will smooth out the wrinkles, it's still obvious that the shirt is used and wrinkled. In this case, all 6'8" of it.

The Trump/GOP one-party catastrophe-in-the-making continues to develop apace ahead of the actual Jan. 20th installation, but I'm not going to discuss that now. Suffice it to say its a Zombie-pocalypse of libertarian fascists, corporate oligarchs, proudly ignorant Know-Nothings, and ideological kooks with an out-of-control tweeting orange orangutan at the top.

Instead, I'm just going to sign off. My next entry will be on Saturday. For tomorrow, I may meet Fred at Annie's after work. Also, BK and his husband are in town from NYC this weekend, so I may meet up with them. I've already mentioned that I'll be going there the weekend of the Inauguration to get the hell out of D.C. for that period.

Next weekend is the Christmas holiday and I'll be visiting my mom and Ray. As for Ray, he is out of the hospital and receiving in-home hospice care. This may very well be the last Christmas that the three of us have together, so I want to have it a nice one.

Today (December 16th) is my mom's birthday. I already sent her a card but I need to get her a birthday and a Christmas gift.

OK, that's all for now. My next entry will be Saturday.

-- Regulus

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