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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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



These are worth reading.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

--Regulus

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