Monday, July 31, 2017

On the Passing of Legendary D.C. Street Artist COOL "DISCO" DAN and His Washington World

(Apologies, but I just don't have a lot of pictures for this entry and couldn't readily find appropriate ones.)

Danny Hogg, a.k.a., Cool "Disco" Dan, photo by Ned Needham.

Legendary street ("graffiti") artist Danny Hogg -- known by his "tag" COOL "DISCO" Dan -- has died.

You must be of a certain age with a certain life history in Washington, D.C., to appreciate the significance Cool "Disco" Dan: What that graffiti tag meant. Now I don't mean you have to be a native born Washingtonian -- I'm certainly not -- but it certainly helps to have some history here. (I count mine as stretching back 25 years to 1992, although that includes 8 years living in College Park and 6 months in Silver Spring.)

I say this in order to be able to put Cool "Disco" Dan in his proper place and time: The world of Washington, D.C., in the 1980s into the early 1990s, during the turbulent, disjointed Imperium of Marion "Mayor for Life" Barry and the worst of the crack epidemic and its attendance murder and mayhem, before the massive waves of gentrification set in that have transformed this city into the strange, half-utopian/half-dystopian organic millennial playground that it now is in 2017 (though that's not to say there aren't still vexing and persistent urban pathologies and attendant suffering -- there are).

So what I'd like to do is repost the Washington Post story noting Mr. Hogg's passing and his life. He died last Wednesday (July 26th) from complications due to diabetes. He was 47. Note that this article contains a link to the October 1991 Washington Post Style section feature article on Mr. Hogg (direct link embedded): Mark of the Urban Phantom. (FYI, his last name is pronounced "Hogue," not "Hog.")

(I was at the horrible St. Mary's College when that piece came out. Like an idiot, I used to read The Post religiously back then. Obviously, only the print edition existed then.)

Also, this article gives a different story about the origin of the name Cool "Disco" Dan than in that 1991 piece -- which invoked a character (which I don't recall) from the TV sitcom What's Happening!

Lastly, the comments to the article reflect the predictable (and ugly) issues of racial relations (and the dreaded white privilege), class and gentrification, obeying the law, and a whole laundry list of stuff, none of which I want to get into now except this: "The marketplace of ideas ... " Horseshit. Everybody hates everybody and nobody listens to anybody -- or ever admits they were wrong on anything.



'A folk hero': D.C. street art legend Cool 'Disco' Dan dies at 47

By Maura Judkis
July 28, 2017
The Washington Post
Source article here.

Danny Hogg, the prolific Washington street artist who plastered the city with his tag, Cool “Disco” Dan, died of complications from diabetes on Wednesday. He was 47.

Mr. Hogg’s tag became an enduring symbol for a city that had endured a lot. He was at his most prolific in the late ’80s and early ’90s, an era when D.C. was known as the country's "murder capital" and then-Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for using crack cocaine.

"When you think of D.C.'s turbulent times, what happened and where the city came from, he is an icon of that era,' said Roger Gastman, a documentary filmmaker who produced a movie, "The Legend of Cool 'Disco' Dan," about Mr. Hogg and the D.C. street art scene. "There's not many left. He's a folk hero."

Mr. Hogg grew up in Capitol Heights, Md., and spent most of his childhood drawing, said his mother, Denise Womack. He got his nickname from going to go-go shows, and spent his teenage years spray painting that name on buildings across the city.

"I would give my kids allowance for doing errands in the house, and he would use the money to buy spray cans and markers,” said Womack, who recalled throwing them in the trash whenever she found them. "The police came to our door many times -- 'Oh, your son was writing on government buildings,' " she said.

His graffiti style was "very plain, simple, in your face, the bare bones of graffiti," said Asad Walker, a graffiti artist and friend of Mr. Hogg's. "I think the overall D.C. style, still to this day, can be kind of simple and straightforward. That aesthetic was promoted by him."

Mr. Hogg with one of his tags on Good Hope Road (Photograph by Rosina Teri Memolo).

In 1991, Mr. Hogg was profiled by Washington Post reporter Paul Hendrickson, who accompanied him on a late-night tagging binge.

"Almost always this is an after-midnight man. He finds a wall. He Hancocks it. He’s gone," Hendrickson wrote.

Some thought he was the most prolific graffiti artist in D.C., but that wasn't true, Gastman said. "I bet other people had their name more. Dan just picked the best spots."

Like along the Metro's Red Line, where commuters could see his tag every morning. Or on the former Washington Coliseum. Or along the 14th Street Bridge.

"He thought long and hard about where to put it," said Joseph Pattisall, who made the documentary with Gastman. "He would go back and trace it to get it as thick and as bold as he could. He took more risk than pretty much anybody."

T and 7th Street NW, Shaw, Washington, D.C., 1988

He had run-ins with the cops, of course. But Mr. Hogg’s notoriety preceded him, and his relationship with police was not entirely adversarial. Walker remembered a time when the two of them were painting graffiti in Edgewood Terrace and heard gunshots nearby. They decided to leave, and were walking down Rhode Island Avenue, when a police cruiser passed by them and slowed down.

T and 7th Street NW, Shaw, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2016 (Google street view).

"I was like, man, if these cops turn around, I'm dumping all of these cans," Walker said. "The cop car does a U-turn and comes back to us, and the cop is like, 'Hey Dan!' It was 3 a.m. The cop recognized him from behind. That's how famous he was."

In person, Mr. Hogg was reserved and shy.

"Graffiti is a funny thing, because you want everyone to know you, but you don’t want anyone to know you at the same time," Pattisall said.

Mr. Hogg stopped tagging in the early 2000s. But he experienced a bit of a comeback in 2013. That was the year Gastman's documentary made its debut, and an increasingly gentrified D.C. experienced a collective nostalgia for the city’s bygone culture -- but a sanitized version of it. Cool "Disco" Dan found his work displayed in the Corcoran Gallery of Art for "Pump Me Up," a tribute to D.C.'s graffiti and go-go culture.

It also briefly inspired the name of a doughnut shop -- Cool “Disco” Donuts -- which sparked an angry discussion about appropriation in a city where several white-owned restaurants are named after black artists.

In addition to his diabetes, Mr. Hogg struggled with mental illness, poverty and homelessness throughout his life. He didn't attend some of the screenings of his documentary because he couldn’t be reached. His final residence was a state-funded group home in Fairfax, Gastman said, who, along with Pattisall, maintained a relationship with the artist after their documentary was produced.

Mr. Hogg was wary about this turn in the spotlight, but eventually warmed to it, said his friend Rosina Teri Memolo, a local photographer who has documented his work.

"He was always happy to sign things and to make people’s day," she said. "I think that was one of his favorite things, the love that he got. I think he thrived off of that and he appreciated it.

Most of Mr. Hogg's tags have been erased now -- painted over, or gone because buildings have been replaced by condos and offices. His friends said that in recent years, he had come to embrace his legacy as D.C.'s most famous street artist.

"He knows, without being egotistical, that Cool 'Disco' Dan is an icon of D.C.," Gastman said, still speaking in the present tense about his friend. "He knows that it has become larger than himself."

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for July 29th, 2017: The Very Lovely and the Really Stupid Songs Edition

"Dindi" by Astrud Gilberto from her release The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965)

The YouTube version above features some lovely images, except it is all a bit blurry. I've decided to feature it anyway since the pictures are intrinsically good (despite their blurriness).

"Dindi" -- pronounced effectively as "Jin-jee") -- is one of the basso nova standards composed by the great Antônio Carlos Jobim with (original Portuguese) lyrics by Aloísio de Oliveira (who performed with Carmen Miranda on her international tours).

This version is by the awesome Brazilian basso nova singer Astrud Gilberto (pictured above) -- and it was already in English by this point. (I couldn't definitively find who wrote the English lyrics, although the info I found suggests it was the late lyricist Ray Gilbert.)

The song was written for de Oliveira's husband, Sylvia Telles (pictured left on the cover of her album The Face I Love), who was killed in a car accident in December 1966 shortly after she recorded her version of it.

The name "Dindi" is said to be Telles's nickname or, alternatively, a reference to the Brazilian farm Dirindi that Jobim and his friend / collaborator Vinicius de Moraes would visit. Maybe both are true.

Ms. Gilberto may be best known for her rendition of "The Girl from Ipanema." I've featured Ms. Gilberto in three previous Jukebox Saturday Night editions including this one in July 2016, this one in June 2016, and two years prior in this one in June 2014 (specifically, her performance of "The Girl from Ipanema").

Left: Astrud Gilberto sings in Amsterdam in 1966.

Ms. Gilberto is now 77. She is a strong animal rights activist. Her website is here.


Next up, what to me is a song that was surely one of the stupidest yet, admittedly, most wildly popular songs (and the lyrics to which my friend Chester and I never get tired of quoting to each other) ...

"Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa from their Hot, Cool, & Vicious album (1986)**

**To be clear, this song was not originally released on the album Hot, Cool & Vicious. Instead, it originally appeared in 1987 on Side B of the 12" single Tramp. The best-known version of Push It is the Cameron Paul remix -- which was added to later pressings of Hot, Cool & Vicious.

The above music video features a concert performance of the song by Salt (Cheryl James) and Pepa (Sandra Denton) with DJ Spinderella (charming name, no?) and Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor on keyboards and backing vocals.

I think it's Hurby "Luv Bugg" Azor (a Haitian-born musician and hip hop artist also known as "Fingerprints") saying the whispered "Push It" throughout.

I think.

According to the Keeper of All Knowledge, the whispered "Push It" is actually sampled from a 1977 recording called "Keep on Pushin'" by the band Coal Kitchen.

Now I should give credit where it's due: Not only was Salt-N-Pepa the first female rap band to have a gold OR platinum album, attesting to the (problematic) popularity of this song, here we are 30 years later still talking about this song.

Schematic map of all stars within 50-light years of the Sun visible with the naked eye from Earth (and thus accounting for 133 such stars). There are roughly 1400 star systems within this volume of space containing 2000 stars, so this map only shows the brightest 10%of all the star systems. Source of information here.


On that last point, think about it:

If human broadcasted radio waves were to travel without being attenuated through space (they don't, though), at this point it would be possible with proper equipment to detect ...

... anywhere within a 30-light-year volume of space centered on our Solar System (or, alternatively, a volume of space 60 light years in diameter) and encompassing 200 to 400 star systems (of all sizes) the following lyrics set to a hectoring beat:

Now wait a minute, y'all ...
This dance ain't for everybody ... 
Only the sexy people!
So all you FLY mothers, get on out there and dance!
Dance, I said!

Not to mention ...

Salt and Pepa's here, and we're in effect!
Want you to push it, babe
Coolin' by day then at night working up a sweat
C'mon girls, let's go show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show
Now push it!

Now push it real good!

Wonderful. What do you think an alien civilization would make of this song, not to mention the video?


Rather than ending on that silly note, I'd like to conclude with this wonderful smooth jazz piece ...

"Pacific Coast Highway" by Nils from the album of same name (2005)

This video features some nice Pacific seaside scenery.

Overall, much, much nicer!


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


Saturday Evening Post for July 29th, 2017: After-the-Midsummer Monsoon But Before Midnight Edition

**This entry was posted July 29th, 2017.**

View from my apartment at dusk, Washington, D.C., 830PM July 29, 2017.


Saturday night.

This is going to be a short Saturday Evening Post (and I should start calling these "Saturday Late Night Posts" since I typically don't get them posted until nearly midnight (as in, heading into Sunday).

Rainy night intersection of Connecticut and Rhode Island Avenues NW, Washington, D.C., 9:05PM July 28, 2017.

I had gotten off the Metro at Farragut West after staying late at work and was walking to Annie's to meet Fred.


I just finished six loads of laundry -- to include all the quilts and blankets and pillow cases that make up my bed-on-the-floor (well, I also have a foam cushion underneath all of that). I also made some dinner at home tonight (steamed broccoli and carrots, jasmine rice, and chicken-and-wild-rice soup mixed into the jasmine rice).

Rainy night intersection at 17th St and Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 9:08PM July 28, 2017.


I'm probably not going to Old Ebbitt Grill tonight. Instead, I will either just go to my usual two spots (No. 9 and Trade) or, instead, to Nellie's. I haven't been there in a long time (in part because the place has basically turned into a mobbed, straight bar for millennials).

Also, there is a place near me -- between here and the gym -- called Provision No. 14 (at the corner of 14th and V Streets NW) that I'd like to try. (I walked past it instead of down W Street because I stopped at that Yes! organic market on 14th Street after the gym.)


The Weather ...

Regional radar mosaic for a portion of the eastern United States looped 11:20PM July 28 - 12:05AM July 29, 2017.


So our highly unusual mid-summer quasi-nor'easter has parted, leaving variably cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures -- with much lower dew points -- in its wake. At the 11PM hour, it is 72F at KDCA with a dew point of just 54F (compared to 73F with a 71F dew point last night at 11PM with bouts of rainy deluges).

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base reflectivity looped 1000PM - 1033PM EDT, July 28, 2017.


Rainfall totals for the storm (stretching from late night Thursday at Dulles to Saturday morning at the Maryland Science Center) were as follows:

This included 3.31" yesterday -- a new daily record, exceeding the 2.90" set in 1951.

3.94" including 2.58" yesterday -- a new daily record, exceeding the 2.28" set way back in 1871 (a pre-airport record set at the start of the official weather record period).

1.69" including 1.46" yesterday -- not enough to surpass the 1.65" set back in 2000.

4.28" including 3.46" yesterday -- certainly a new daily record except KDMH does not yet have a full 30-year climate normal base period.

This deluge wiped out much of the significant deficit KDMH had built up this year and it is now 7 inches below KIAD for the year (rather than nearly 10" as it was a few days ago) and just 2.39" month-to-date (rather than nearly 5" as it was a few days ago).

I'll post monthly and yearly totals once July is ended.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base reflectivity looped 11:15 - 11:48PM EDT, July 28, 2017.

Again, this was an unusual summer weather system -- it was baroclinic, not tropical / barotropic.


One item to note, though: The originally (several days ago) forecasted 75F to 77F highs for Sunday (with a cool breeze) have suddenly been replaced by 83F to 86F highs (and not much of a breeze) which is much more likely given the fact it is the end of July.

Preliminary rainfall totals for the Metro Washington, D.C. area; source here.


Changing subjects ...

So last night, I walked home after Annie's since I had, my computer with me. I got home and almost stayed in for the night (despite it being Friday), but around 1AM, I went out -- it was still raining steadily -- and went to Local 16 and Exiles, both located less than 500 from my apartment. I didn't stay long at either but came home quickly.

I went to bed by 3AM and didn't finally get up until 3AM.

Yours truly in my apartment, Washington, D.C., 9:58PM July 27, 2017.


I made it to the gym earlier today. I did some decent weightlifting and a swim. I also spent an hour on the treadmill -- but I was jogging slower than usual. I had a 5.34-mile jog rather than the 6.67-mile ones that were my peak last year and earlier this year. I've just been having a hard time with those.

But I've gotten better at weightlifting.

Truth to tell, I'm going to be 48 in about 4 months and I'm just getting old even if I am in relatively good shape for my age. Of course, I'm no where near in shape as this new internet sensation -- and at 50, he is about 2-1/2 years older than I am.

Singaporean male model and photographer Chuando Tan in a shirtless selfie.


I refer to Singaporean male model Chuando Tan, whose phenomenal shape, beautiful hair, and youthful face make him look half his age.

His Instagram account is here -- it's what made him so famous. He is also a professional photographer, and his website is here.

Another selfie by Chuando Tan.

I'm not sure I believe he is 50 years old, but whatever.


OK, that's all for now. Tomorrow (Sunday) is my free day and I plan to take a walk and get lunch and end the evening at Trade before coming home -- the usual stuff.

My text planned blog entry will be late Monday or early Tuesday. Jukebox Saturday Night entry to follow momentarily ...


Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Night Non-Creature Feature for July 28th, 2017: Mid-Summer Monsoon and Out-of-Season Nor'easter Edition

TOURISTS! In this case, tourists in a downpour near the U.S. Capitol Building, July 28, 2017; Photograph by Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post.

We love the tourists. They're so goddamn annoying. You need to be in a Zen-like state for them NOT to annoy you. And clueless. As for the Trumpizoidal Red Staters, well, ohhhhh, never mind ...


Regional radar mosaic of a portion of the eastern U.S. looped from 500PM to 545PM EDT July 28, 2017 from Weather Underground (WU).


Friday night. I'm here at the office on a very rainy night but getting ready to leave.

A highly anomalous weather pattern in the form of a storm system more akin to February or March than late July -- in terms of upper level low, surface low development strength and coastal baroclinicity, overall 500mb negative geopotential height anomalies, easterly fetch, and precipitation shield.

Mid-Atlantic region close-up of today's late winter/early-spring-like mid-summer storm system, July 28, 2017.


Today has featured heavy rainfall across the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas and multiple flash flood warnings. As I mentioned yesterday, the entire State of Maryland is presently under a flash flood watch -- something I've not seen before and quite noteworthy given that the state is located in four (4) different NWS forecast office CWAs and the weather from Garrett County to Somerset County is often highly variable even in a given synoptic situation.

Portion of the high-resolution surface weather map for the Eastern U.S., valid 21Z July 28, 2017.

This does not show the upper level action.


Flash flood watch area remains in effect into Saturday afternoon. Coverage expected to increase tonight with the heaviest rainfall as the upper low moves across the forecast area and the surface low moves over the Delmarva. A storm total of 2-4+ inches is possible on average over the watch area.

NWSFO Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) advisories, updated 11:44AM EDT July 28, 2017.

The sea green colors are flash flood watches and the dark red are flash flood warnings (see legend with image).


Here is an excerpt from this evening's Sterling area forecast discussion (AFD). WOODY! wrote it (which I could tell without even reading the signature line based upon the first-person style in which it was written)

Although FFA extends to Greene County I remain most worried about northern VA up to the PA border - as I've seen in writings this does appear to bear some similarity to Nor`easters and makes me think of some of the bigger snowfalls I've seen here where the CHO area might get 8" and central MD/eastern WV 20-25."

NWSFO Sterling (LWX) CWA advisories, updated as of 5:34PM EDT July 28, 2017.

There were two flash flood warnings for at least parts of the District of Columbia today -- and I received text alerts for both.


12Z Euro shows rapid deepening of the low tonight as it moves over the Delmarva and strong northeastly flow pushes moisture into the northern part the forecast area. Given the rainfall that north DC/Montgomery Co. have already received with several inches more possible tonight this will bear close watching.

NWSFO Sterling (LWX) CWA advisories, updated as of 7:13PM EDT July 28, 2017.


Rainfall totals today through 8PM have varied widely with KDCA again the jackpot winner. They are as follows:

KDCA: 2.09"
KDMH: 1.59"
KBWI: 1.28"
KIAD: 0.38"

The rainfall tonight and tomorrow could bring the region-wide storm total into the 3 to 5 inch range with localized amounts of 6 to 8 inches.

GFS 6Z 7/28/2017 42-hour precipitation total map for the Mid-Atlantic region (in inches) as prettied up by


The CWG has a number of entries on this weather event the past few days to include the following just today (July 28th):

NWS LWX radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 6:47PM - 7:18PM EDT July 28, 2017.


This entry by Wes Junker (the CWG's winter weather expert and a retired NWS meteorologist) and Angela Fritz makes the following assertions:

1. This storm is more like a winter (snow) storm than a summer one. It cites the example of the "Snowzilla" storm in Jan. 2016.

2. The low pressure system is unusually low, the moisture is unusually moist and the winds are unusually windy.

3. The data suggests this storm is a 1-in-50 year event, but it's quite possibly more like 1-in-100 years.

To buttress this, it claims that the mean 850-hPa (mb) zonal wind return interval (i.e., recurrence) for this event over the northern half of Maryland is outside of the observed 38-year interval back to 1979 -- and may in fact be on the order of once-every-100 years. (The 38 years refers to the period of the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) period and its current 1979 - 2009 climatology base period.)

The North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) mean 850-hPa zonal wind (in kt) valid at hour 36 / 12Z 7/29/2017 and return frequency compared to the CFSR climatology of 1979 - 2009.


Keep in mind that CWG entry titles sometimes change -- in particular, those with multiple updates during significant weather events.

I'm just going to leave it at that for now.

This is a dramatic photo from the remarkable rescue of dozens of horses stabled at the Cypress Creek horse park outside of Houston during a flood in April 2016.


OK, that's all for now. I would have liked to post another installment of BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature.

Indeed, I'm still quite keen to post that episode about BIG Y'EYEMAH achieving commercial spaceflight thanks to all the CORNED CHEESE, pork 'n 'beans, Big Macs, sauerkraut, bread-for-the-world she eats combined with a well-timed bout of constipation, and a posterior strategically-placed can of Sterno.

Watching her go all FULL FUNDAMENT PHASE in low Earth orbit with little bits of corned cheese shootin' and poopin' out the backside between here and Mar a Lago is something about which all children raised in the Space Age dream.

That's all for now. My plan is to post at least a Jukebox Saturday Night entry tomorrow and possibly a Saturday Evening Post as well.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Ugly Madness of a Political System in Crisis Interspersed with Sunny-and-Rainy Sunday Pics -OR- Approaching TrumpWorld GÖPdämmerung

**UPDATED 2:27AM 7/28/2017: See bottom of entry.**

Sunday evening deluge at Prospect and 35th Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:32PM July 23, 2017.


Before beginning, let me just note that I am home tonight on this Thursday night following a late stay at work. It is a non-gym night, but I did NOT go to Trade or any bar/restaurant.

The very idea of having a vodka drink just appalled me -- sometimes, I hate liquor -- plus I am low on money for a reason I explain below, although my new credit card actually arrived today so that issue is nixed (my number was stolen while at the National Press Club with a friend/coworker last Thursday night; the thief only made two small purchases totaling about $20 at a BP station in Laurel, Md.).

Fort Totten Green Line sunken platform burrowed into the hillside of the Fort Totten park, Washington, D.C., 3:11PM July 23, 2017.

It looks pretty -- the park, that is -- but it is in a bad part of the city and a particularly bad park. Of course, I have in years past (when I went through there almost daily) would see bunny rabbits nibbling on the grass, making for quite the juxtaposition with the ghettoized platform. I was heading home from Union Station -- but went via Fort Totten to U Street / Cardozo.


I just wanted to be home, and now I am. I'm cooking a steak I bought at Safeway and having the leftover jasmine rice and steamed broccoli I made too much of last night. I purchased a standard-sized bottle of Riesling wine and I'm having a glass or three of that.

The set of ginormous escalators at the Rosslyn Metro, Arlington, Va., 5:20PM July 23, 2017.


I'm waiting for the 11PM hour when the twin reruns of Wings on Antenna TV begins. I should mention that although I recently said I never got into Family Ties -- the old sitcom rerun that Antenna TV is airing in a pair between midnight and 1AM, replacing the wonderful sitcom Becker -- I actually think I could start to like it.

Brilliant Sun seen among the Rosslyn skyscrapers, Arlington, Va., 5:23PM July 23, 2017.


Newhart is on at 1AM until 2AM. Usually, by that point, it's time for me to start thinking about going to bed even with the schedule I keep.

It's peaceful in my lamp-lit, air-conditioned, wee efficiency somewhere in Washington, D.C. Thank God for that a/c because it is absolutely disgustingly humid outside -- 10PM KDCA air temp 82F and the dew point 76F, making it feel like 89F.

A sweaty 89F.

Trees near the Key Bridge, Rosslyn, Arlington, Va., 5:29PM July 23, 2017.


While KDCA tends to have higher summer dew points, tonight the other three regional stations -- KBWI, KIAD, and KDMH -- are also quite elevated at 75F, 72F, and 74F, respectively (as of the 9PM hour).

View near the Key Bridge, Rosslyn, Arlington, Va., 5:29PM July 23, 2017.


As for the weather, I would like to post another entry about our impending deluge of rain -- one that tees off this extensive CWG entry written earlier today -- in what amounts to an out-of-season quasi-nor'easter.

NWS advisories including all the flash flood watches in effect for the Eastern Region of the United States, updated 3:26PM EDT July 27, 2017.

Finally, a topically-relevant image.


At this point, the ENTIRE state of Maryland is under a flash flood watch, something I've never seen before, for tomorrow into Saturday (see map above). Rainfall amounts from some of the models -- most notably, the Euro -- are on the order of 3 to 6+ inches even for the immediate D.C. and Baltimore areas.

Potomac upriver view, Key Bridge, Washington, D.C., 5:32PM July 17, 2017.


However, before getting to the weather, I would first like to post an entry featuring the pictures I took on Sunday interspersed with some political commentary on the Trump/GOP EF-5 tornado of shit, lies, outright evil that is consuming Washington, D.C., and the media/political establishment this summer.

Upriver Potomac view, Key Bridge, Washington, D.C., 5:33PM July 17, 2017.

Note the ray of sunlight visible in the distance on the Maryland side.


From the health care abomination (a bloody abortion of a bill that will result in the premature deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year) that keeps shambling slowly toward some passage -- and Götterdämmerung in the GOP's multi-generational Long Con on the downwardly mobile, racially panicked white working class that is both the Republican Party's base and marks -- to the deeply and dangerously unhinged Donald Trump, who at present through historical accident and 19th Century vestige slave state institution, occupies the office of United States President -- this week's outburst was directed at transgendered service people, shocking even the Pentagon -- to the swirling, fetid sewer of the Trump/Putin/Russia money laundering and election scandal that could eventually take down his presidency -- there has never been anything like what is transpiring in the United States, at least since the late 19th Century era of Reconstruction followed by the Gilded Age.

The Key Bridge (formerly Jack's) Boathouse as seen from the Key Bride, Washington, D.C., 5:36PM July 23, 2017.


On the matter of the health care bill abortion, the wee hours are to feature the "skinny" Obamacare repeal, the details of which are Alice-in-Wonderland bizarro, but I'll get to that in a bit.

The Tombs subterranean restaurant and bar, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:02PM July 23, 2017.


People continue to marvel in appalled astonishment that Sen. John McCain -- recently diagnosed with brain cancer -- rushed back to D.C. and gave an impassioned, standing ovation-inducing speech about how horrible the political process has become only to vote not only to continue the process by being a critical vote for Mitch the Bitch McConnell's motion to proceed to go forth, but also voting for the "Repeal and Replace" bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Yours truly at The Tombs, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:12PM July 23, 2017.


The BCRA failed 57-43 thanks to multiple Republican defections. Next day, the "Repeal" only bill -- the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act (ORRA) also failed, 55-45. Yes, both are reconciliation bills because it is the utterly amoral Mitch the Bitch McConnell's way of doing an end run around any Democratic input. As for the Dems, all 48 were united against both bills.

Deluge as seen from the 3200 block of Prospect Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:27PM July 23, 2017.

This was going to be my lead image but I featured it in my previous entry.


Now tonight comes up the "skinny" bill, a.k.a., the Health Care Freedom Act (what a bizarro world obscenity of a name) -- except nobody but the secret cabal drafting it -- as seen it and it is Republican Senators are appalled at it -- yet will vote for it anyway on the theory that the Senate-House conferees will create something they are incapable of doing.

Rainwater rivulet along Prospect St near Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 6:43PM July 23, 2017.


They can't do it because the demands of the cult-like inverted Marxist, libertarian fanaticized GOP "movement conservatives" to include the oligarchical donor overclass are antithetical to anything remotely conducive to a functioning health care system for 300+ million Americans.

Chart: Estimated percent of U.S. population uninsured under Obamacare, BCRA, ORRA, and HCFA.

Yes, a second topically-relevant image.


The "skinny" bill is likely to pass the Senate tonight -- possibly in a 50-50 tie with Pence breaking the tie -- and then after days or weeks of pointless negotiation, Paul Ryan is likely to ram it through the House unchanged so no additional Senate input can occur. 

The bar at Martin's, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM July 23, 2017.


Whatever passes, of course, the Vulgar Talking Yam, also known as the Great Orange Buffoon, will immediately sign it for "the win" -- and it will quickly blow up the insurance markets and throw 16 million people (at least) off their insurance in a wild "death spiral" (actuarial AND actual).

The bar at Martin's, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:59PM July 23, 2017.


The lies and bullshit of the current "debate" are beyond remarkable. On that note, here are two pieces by Ezra Klein of

These are worth reading.

Trees and sky, 3100 block Dumbarton St NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM July 23, 2017.


There are numerous political-themed pieces I'd like to post to include those by Jonathan Chait, Charlie Pierce, Ezra Klein, and but it's all somewhat overwhelming.

The lies and bullshit to their marks aside, how someone such as Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia could vote for this when she knows full well what it will do to hundreds of thousands of her constituents is beyond me but we are living in a post-factual time.

Leafy sidewalk, 3100 block Dumbarton St NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM July 23, 2017.


It is worth noting that the other female Republican Senators including Sue Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have held out strongly against this abomination of a process -- and Trump had his Interior Secretary call her and threaten her and the State of Alaska; that's how Trump rolls and the 25% of the country that worships him thinks its great.)

3058 Dumbarton Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:18PM July 23, 2017.


Assuming "skinny" and nothing else passes, well, no one really knows how it will play out, but the rightwing media/entertainment complex disinformation machine headed by the amoral charlatans of Fox News and hate radio will (likely) convince the doltish Red State supporters that the loss of their insurance is somehow due to Obama, Hillary's email server, and transgendered service people.

The Dupont Circle fountain at dusk, Washington, D.C., 7:37PM July 23, 2017.


The only thing the GOP base cares about is that Trump makes nice with his deranged, hatemongering little Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump has been tweeting bizarre attacks on Sessions for the past few days because Sessions didn't fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigating the Russia mess.

Entrances to the row houses at 1708 and 1710 P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:41PM July 23, 2017.


As for the transgender service person issue and Trump "tweeting" a "policy" -- about which he lied outright when he said in 140 characters that it was based upon "consultation" with HIS generals (or was it his genitals?) -- it arose on unrelated matters involving a House defense appropriations bill, funding for his fucking wall with Mexico, and transgender reassignment surgery -- the White House actually boasted that this was the ancillary benefit of Trump's early morning "tweet" of a new Pentagon policy (startling the Joint Chiefs of Staff). There are about 15,000 transgendered service people and DoD was figuring out a way to incorporate them into the military thanks to America's last actual human being president, Barack Obama.

Picturesque clouds in the sky as seen from 16th and P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:45PM July 23, 2017.


Let me just say that if there are zero electoral consequences next year as a result of this abomination -- to include Trump's Red State marks and victims -- then the country basically can't survive and gets what it deserves (in the aggregate, collective sense).

Row houses, 1600 block of P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:45PM July 23, 2017.


Oh, and today, the new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, launched a profanity-laced tirade against Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus that is too vulgar to reprint here. I refer you to Fred Hiatt's take on that matter. (I'm sure Trump thinks it's great -- but he'll soon tire of "The Mooch.")

On that note, I'm just going to end this entry. That's all for now.

UPDATED 2:27AM 7/28/2017

Wow ....

Screen capture of TPM's headline at 1:57AM July 28, 2017.

Just wow.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) unexpectedly voted "No" on the Health Care Freedom Act -- a.k.a., the Senate's "Skinny Repeal" of Obamacare -- and thanks to him and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plus all 48 Senate Democrats, the effort failed 51 to 49.

A portion of an infographic from this New York Times article showing how each Senator voted on the three Obamacare repeal bills. It captures the 13 Republican Senators who voted "No" on at least one of them. Sen. McCain was the deciding vote in the failure of this 3rd try.


Now while we know killing Obamacare is the GOP Holy Grail (along with tax cuts for the superrich), and this zombie could very well come back from the undead, right now, this is a good -- very good -- outcome. It is a very good night. And day.

Thank you, Sen. McCain. Tonight, you're my hero.

End of Update and of Entry.