Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Wee Hours Sunday Morning Post: Saturday Brief Recap and Reposted Paul Krugman Entry Interspersed with Some Recent Pics

A fountain the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden (next to the Arts and Industries Building), Washington, D.C., 8:28PM July 18, 2017.

The pictures in this entry are ones I took on Tuesday night on my walk home from work. That night, I stopped at Dirty Habit at Hotel Monaco, where works a very nice bartender who also works at Trade. He reminds me of a certain bartender somebody -- except one who never went wrong.

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Saturday night -- well, wee hours Sunday morning by the time I post this.

I'm here again at my mom's apartment in Glen Burnie on a tropical-like summer night with scattered showers and thunderstorms and high humidity to include dew points around 73F.

Actually, it has been an interesting stormy day -- specifically, stormy in the immediate D.C. area with little here in the immediate Baltimore area.

Indeed, here are the widely-varying preliminary daily rainfall totals for July 22nd for the regional climate stations:

KDCA: 0.98"
KIAD: 0.72"
KBWI: 0.07"
KDMH: 0.01"

We had a really nice afternoon meal at Mike's Crab House North and a stop over at Fort Smallwood Park. I have pictures from my day, but I'm not going to post them now.

Corner Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 3:01PM July 16, 2017.

Earlier, I has been at the Old Bar at OEG. I was getting ready to leave and waiting to use the facilities in that bar (since the downstairs main one was closed).

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Right now, I'm writing this entry and watching episodes of House Hunters of HGTV, specifically, young, pretty, earnest couples with babies and/or small children finding their starter homes of their dreams. Of course, some of the couples are extremely annoying -- including those with 2-year olds named as Kayley, Wayley, Addison, Madison, and Harrison.

Two of my stuffed animals -- Randy (my green and white-striped monkey) and Flippo (my plush baby hippo) -- in my apartment somewhere in Washington, D.C., 10:37PM July 16, 2017.

They are part of my plush menagerie.

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So I head back to D.C. tomorrow on a Sunday MARC train. I think I'm going to skip the gym tomorrow and go on Monday and Wednesday, so when I get back, I'll probably just have a free day -- take a walk, get a late lunch, stop at Trade.

For the rest of this entry, I'm just going to repost a very worthwhile Paul Krugman blog entry (not one of his regular op-eds) interspersed with some of my Tuesday evening photos. I'm going to use a different font (bolded Helvetica) to differentiate the Krugman text.

Puffy cumulus congestus clouds in the sky above U and 14th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 12:39PM July 18, 2017.

I was heading to the U Street / Cardozo Metro. Remember that the 13th and U Street entrance is closed for at least six months (and probably more like 8 years) for an escalator replacement.

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Some Pundit Meta On Our Twin Crises

By Paul Krugman
July 22, 2017
Source here.

Right now, there are two huge crises in American politics, but one is clearly bigger than the other. Yet looking at my recent columns, and to a large extent my blogging and tweeting, I’ve been focusing mainly on the lesser crisis. A few thoughts about why.

Cumulus congestus cloud in the high summer sky as seen from the 1200 block of U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:44PM July 18, 2017.

The sign is to the now-closed Alphonse Italian Market & Osteria.

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Clearly the most important thing happening in and to America right now is the constitutional crisis. Not potential crisis: it’s already here. The president’s inner circle is under investigation for possible collusion with a hostile foreign power, collusion that may have put him in office; he himself, whether or not he’s currently a direct target of that investigation, is clearly suspect. Yet he has already made clear his determination to block any investigation that gets too close.

Pathway through the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 8:37PM July 18, 2017.

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This is way worse than Nixon -- yet all indications are that the moral rot of the Republican Party now runs so deep that the constitutional answer to a rogue president is null and void. This is an existential threat to the republic, and it can be hard to focus on anything else.

Dusk at the corner of 9th Street NW and Madison Drive NW, Washington, D.C., 8:42PM July 18, 2017.

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Yet if Trump-Putin-treason weren't in the news, we'd all be focused on health care, where Republicans are still trying to ram through a disgusting bill, inflicting immense harm, under cover of secrecy and lies. In the process they are bringing conspiracy theorizing to the heart of politics: every attempt at objective analysis, every statement of plain facts, just shows that you're an enemy.

Garden phlox, Pollinator Garden, Washington, D.C., 8:42PM July 18, 2017.

Yes, I featured a (much better) garden phlox image in this entry.

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So, what to write about? In my case, I'm mainly doing health care. Why?

First, personal comparative advantage. I’m not a national security or legal expert. That won’t stop me from weighing in when I think other pundits are, for whatever reason, failing to see the obvious – as was the case long ago when I stuck my neck out to argue that we were being lied into the Iraq war. But Trump-Putin-treason is in fact getting plenty of attention.

The Smithsonian Pollinator Garden just off the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 8:42PM July 18, 2017.

This used to be called the Butterfly Garden Habitat but was rechristened in June 2016 as the Pollinator Garden.

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Meanwhile, health economics is close enough to my home areas of expertise that I think I know what I’m talking about (and who to consult); so it’s an area where I think I can still add significant value to the discussion.

A giant American elm tree at Constitution Avenue and 9th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:44PM July 18, 2017.

This roughly two century old American elm has not succumbed to Dutch elm disease. There is a sign next to the tree (see above image) that includes a name for the tree -- but for the life of me, I cannot recall it, nor could I find it anywhere via a Google search. I do remember that the sign stated the tree started to grow around 1850. Other information I found (which I can't find now) states that the tree is over 200 years old.

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Another view of the American elm at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 9th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:44PM July 18, 2017.

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Equally important, health care is an area where punditry can make a difference, either by helping to stop the Republican bum’s rush or by helping to ensure that those responsible for destroying health care pay the appropriate price. For now, by contrast, Trump-Putin-treason is largely in the hands of Robert Mueller and Trump himself.

The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Headquarters building, Washington, D.C., 8:49PM July 18, 2017.

This building sets the standard for hideosity (OK, hideousness), monstrosity, architectural sinful abomination, and just all-around-wrong. It's as close to an Airstrip One (Oceania) Ministry of Love building as we have in D.C. Oh, and the plan to replace the decaying thing fell through, much to Fred Hiatt's deep chagrin. (In this case, I totally agree with him.)

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Two guys at the corner of 18th Street and New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 5:17PM July 16, 2017.

I wanted to call this picture Gay Laurel & Hardy, or Gay Abbott and Costello ...

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Investigative reporting can help move the situation along, and it will be all hands on deck if and when Trump fires Mueller (which seems more likely than not). But for now, it seems to me that I personally best serve the public interest by focusing on the lesser but still great evil.

Good stuff.

An Impressionist-like painting of a French café on the wall of the dining area in the Gourmet Too eatery, L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 2:48PM July 19, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be late Monday / early Tuesday.

--Regulus

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