Friday, December 15, 2017

Weather Update and Charlie Pierce & Jonathan Chait on Paul Ryan Achieving His Ayn Randian Amoral Dream Interspersed with Some Sunday Sunlight-and-Trees Pictures

A "hoary" old American elm tree growing along the (north-side) of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool near the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., 3:02PM December 3, 2017.

Nearby are a series of much younger elm trees -- which may or may not be American elms.

To clarify, I believe this old one is an American elm -- and probably one of the originals planted along the Reflecting Pool during the time of its construction in 1922-'23. If it is an American elm, it survived the Dutch Elm arboreal pandemic that basically wiped out this tree species. I'm also unsure if it was planted in 1922 or brought in as a young tree from elsewhere. (I tried to find tat info but could not.)

Another one of the original American elms along with younger ones along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C., 3:04PM December 3, 2017.

I would estimate that one-third to half of the original elms have been removed and replaced.

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Friday early evening (although quite dark this time of year). It was a cold and very gray day with light snow / graupel (snow pellets / soft hail) and sleet as a minor weather system moved across the region. It precipitated for a few hours here in D.C. -- dropping an icy-white crusty dusting on rooftops and parked cars and such. The Baltimore area had more with 1/2" to as much as 2" to the northeast of bona fide snow in some places.

The daily climate station snow totals through 4PM were as follows:

KDCA: 0.2"

KIAD: 0.2"

KBWI: Trace (through 4PM) (Yes, I know that contradicts what I wrote above about the Baltimore area getting more.)

KDMH doesn't report snow totals but places in Baltimore City are reporting 0.5" to 1".

There shouldn't be much -- if any -- to add to most of these (save KBWI) since the snow/graupel ended by about then.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 1:02PM - 1:37PM EST December 15, 2017.

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Highs were cold -- below freezing area-wide to include 31F at both KDCA and KDMH and 29F at both KBWI and KIAD. To have full calendar days that are completely below freezing (32F/0C) at all four climat stations in this region is actually a bit unusual in the current globally-warming climate "regime."

It is supposed to warm up next week -- followed by another modified Arctic outbreak around Christmas, although whether there is snow or not is anyone's guess.

Oh, yes, as a follow up: My previous entry notwithstanding, there was only "trace" snow at both KDCA and KBWI and 0.3" at KBWI on Dec. 13th.

Brilliant low-angled sunlight "pours" out of the Dupont Circle fountain, Washington, D.C., December 3, 2017.

For this picture the next three directly below, I don't have time stamps for them -- just that they were taken on the afternoon of December 3rd on a walk I took from my apartment down to the National Mall and back home (via a top Trade).

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Changing subjects ...

I tried to post an entry last night but I just couldn't get started -- and I wasn't going to stay up until all hours to post one. Besides, I get far too distracted living in this dystopian TrumpWorld with its GOP Media Entertainment and Political Shock Troops to post coherent entries.

Low-angled sunlight as looking southwest along New Hampshire Ave near Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., December 3, 2017.

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Here is a very worthwhile entry by the inestimable Charlie Pierce on Paul Ryan, whom he always describes as "the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin" (link embedded): Good Riddance to the Biggest Fake in American Politics.

The backstory is that Ryan is going to retire next year because he is on the verge of achieving his Ayn Randian wet dream of obliterating the social safety net while shoveling trillions of wealth to dark money donor billionaires and corporate oligarchs everywhere through the GOP's abortion of a tax "un-reform" bill.

Row houses in the 2000 block of N Street NW, Washington, D.C., December 3, 2017.

Any one of these row houses is worth $1.5 to $2 million.

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Conclusion:

And no matter how much gauzy nonsense is spun about how reluctant he was to become Speaker, Ryan knew that the only way to maintain his utterly unearned reputation as an intellectual, while simultaneously dismantling everything about government that he opposed at a theological level, was to become the smartest chimp in the monkeyhouse.

Washington Circle, Washington, D.C., December 3, 2017.

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Continued:

That was something he did. And now he and his owners have scored their biggest victory. People he doesn’t even know will suffer for years because Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House. People he doesn’t even know may well die because of it. But he has that one happy moment in which Paul Ryan, threw his head back and slammed his hands together.

Quite a trick, for an unusually sophisticated marionette.

The Watergate Complex and trees, Washington, D.C., 2:40PM December 3, 2017.

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Jonathan Chait had a piece on this as well (link embedded): Paul Ryan to Go Out in a Blaze of Randian Glory.

Conclusion:

The earnest image Ryan has always cultivated includes professions of interest in bipartisanship. However, Politico notes, "Ryan could not stomach the thought of working with President Hillary Clinton." Working with an authoritarian bigot who would sign his bills was more palatable. Ryan's beliefs about the immorality of economic redistribution are his highest political ethic. He may care about things like assaulting women, textbook examples of racism, and the president being secretly paid by Russia. But he cares more about economic liberty, which boils down to protecting the makers from the takers.

Dazzling sunlight and the Potomac River near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, Washington, D.C., 2:49PM December 3, 2017.

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Last night, after work and the gym I'm home -- after work and the gym -- and watched a Perry Mason episode ("The Case of the Lavender Lipstick") on MeTV while making dinner. That episode features as the prosecutor the actor Joe Maross who, in my view, never really got his due. Oh, and there was The Twilight Zone episode involving Billy Mumy -- but not the one you're thinking of but instead "Long Distance Call."

A veritable "explosion" of sunlight and a winter bare tree along the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., 2:51PM December 3, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be tomorrow night. My plan is to go to the gym tomorrow afternoon / evening and then just stay in to watch the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Sunday Red Eye Sci-Fi Lineups. For Sunday, I am meeting Andrea for lunch.

For tonight, I'm meeting Aydin and Fred at Trade.

Trees and the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C., 3:11PM December 3, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

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