Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Around Midnight on a Midwinter's Night Update Beneath a Dazzling Near Super Blue Blood Moon -OR- Quercus Quercus & Swamp Tree Trumpus

Dazzling Full Moon in a dark sky that I found online.

I posted the above picture since the (nearly Full) Moon is quite beautiful tonight -- dazzling iridescent white riding high in the midwinter starry sky (well, semi-starry from here in the District). There I a full Moon tomorrow night and a lunar eclipse -- the so-called "Super Blue Blood Moon" since several events are coming together at once.

A large oak tree grows in a small, fenced-in rectangular plot between New Hampshire Ave and 17th and T Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 3:29PM January 28, 2018.

There is a tacked up laminated sign on the fence next to the tree proclaiming this the "biggest Swamp Oak in Washington, D.C." Size aside, assuming this is a swamp (white) oak (Quercus bicolor), it means that my guess that it was a chestnut oak (Quercus montana) was wrong. However, just to confuse things, there is also a tree species called the swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii).

Comparison of the leaves of the swamp chestnut oak (left) and the swamp white oak (right).


The rest of the pictures in this entry were taken on Sunday late afternoon as I walked from my apartment to Dupont Circle -- and then had to go back home to retrieve my HSA card I had forgotten and return to Dupont Circle to the CVS to purchase a prescription -- and then to the Foggy Bottom Circa DC. Thereafter, I stopped at a bar along M Street called 1831 Bar and Lounge, and then I went to Trade before returning home (via No. 9).

A traffic light and street sign at Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 3:40PM January 28, 2018.

The naming convention in the District of Columbia for addresses 1 - 99 are called "unit" block and traffic circles, in general, are "unit" blocks -- thus, technically, not on the "regular" grid numbered out from the U.S. Capitol Building. (Only the addresses within a block of North, South, and East Capitol Streets are "unit" and "on" the grid. There is no West Capitol Street but instead the National Mall -- and no addresses close enough to it for them to be unit numbered.)


One of the two large elm trees on the west side of the 1600 block of New Hampshire Ave, Washington, D.C., 4:23PM January 28, 2018.


Home at this late hour from work and the gym on this very cold, brilliantly moonlit night.

I'm now watching the old shows of the late weeknight MeTV line up that can run into the wee hours -- and the really early birds are starting to rouse. Regular readers of this blog (both of them) know that lineup: Carol Burnett & Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (two episodes), Mannix, and Cannon.

I typically go to bed by the time Mannix ends, but if I stayed up until the end of Cannon, it can be as late as 4AM.

I don't know why but I've gotten to like Mannix -- a show I hadn't even heard of until several weeks ago and 43 years after it went off the air.

I'm living basically on Hawaii-Aleutian time.

Dupont Circle and New Hampshire Ave street sign, Washington, D.C., 4:35PM January 28, 2018.


I was glad to go to the gym to experience what I correctly surmised would be a Trump-Free (and GOP Cult Enabling-Trump) Zone on this the night of the State of the (Dis)Union Address. It will be interesting the situation a year from tonight. However, this entry is not a political-themed one. I intend to post that a bit later tonight.

For this entry, I would like to just like to post a few personal items. First, my mom has been ill since the weekend and with pains that sound like more than a flu. She is going to the doctor tomorrow. Obviously, I'm quite worried about this. I'm also worried that she has been feeling quite down lately.

Ironically, things have been better with my dad lately -- I had a very nice phone conversation with him last week on his 77th birthday.

I'm hoping she comes down on Sunday for lunch.

A gloomy, showery evening, 1200 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 4:47PM January 28, 2018.

We had a bit of rain on Sunday but not enough (0.16" at KDCA). Our winter drought remains -- and the advertised snow squalls this morning with an Arctic frontal passage also failed to materialize. We really need to enter a wet pattern by the time spring gets underway.


Well, I guess that's all I really wanted to say, other than that I am home now -- as I mentioned -- and cooking some dinner. For tomorrow, I'll just have an after-work bar visit to Trade and/or No. 9. Thursday night is another gym night.

OK, I guess that's all for now. My plan is to post a second and political-themed entry later, but only if I can get it finished by 3AM, otherwise it will have to wait.

Yours truly at 1831 Bar and Lounge -- so named because it is at 1831 M Street NW -- Washington, D.C., 6:31PM January 28, 2018.

Yes, me at 1831 at 1831 (6:31PM). And, no, I wasn't really that tired or drunk. I just think it's a funny picture.


OK, that really is all for now.

Oh, and despite "initially" posting this entry right before midnight, I didn't actually complete it until 2AM -- so there is simply no way I can post the political-themed one I had planned. That will have to wait a day or two. Besides, it's not like this Trump/GOP dystopia is going anywhere anytime soon.


Bilious Numbers By and By: Quantifying and Qualifying a Quarter Century of Maureen "MoDo the SHE Dragon" Dowd's Anti-Hillary Obsession

**This entry was posted January 30th, 2018.**

So Maureen "MoDo the SHE Dragon" Dowd is back to her pathologically favorite topic -- internal and infinite pathological Hillary-hatred -- in the form of this piece. (And, yes, I got the nickname for Maureen Dowd from the late, great Bartcop.)

Briefly put, MoDo the SHE Dragon purports to give her readers inside knowledge of the stealth Good Fight that Melania Trump is waging in deep secrecy but to powerful trolling effect (to those who can divine her signals) against her disgusting, mentally unbalanced husband. MoDo the SHE Dragon then contrasts this, naturally, to Hillary Clinton, who is still with the same man she married all those decades ago, a fact that bewilders and maddens her.

Left: MoDo the SHE Dragon in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.

Curious about the now-quarter-century-long borderline-insane fixation from her New York Times perch on All Things Clinton, I found this interesting Media Matters piece from several years ago (June 2014) that performed a textual analysis of her columns back to 1993 to quantify her hatred (link embedded):

The key findings: Media Matters analyzed 195 columns by Dowd since November 1993 containing significant mentions of Clinton for whether they included any of 16 negative tropes in five categories (listed in the below methodology). 72 percent (141 columns) were negative towards Clinton -- only 8 percent (15 columns) were positive. The remaining 20 percent (39 columns) were neutral.

For example, Dowd has repeatedly accused Clinton of being an enemy to or betraying feminism (35 columns, 18 percent of those studied), power-hungry (51 columns, 26 percent), unlikeable (9 columns, 5 percent), or phony (34 columns, 17 percent). She's also attacked the Clintons as a couple in 43 columns (22 percent), many of which included Dowd's ham-handed attempts at psychoanalysis.

Since 1993, Dowd has compared Clinton to nearly 40 different figures and works from Hollywood, TV, and popular books throughout at least 40 different columns.

These have included: Wile E. Coyote, Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Godzilla, Daisy and Tom Buchanan of The Great Gatsby, Bonnie and Clyde, Madonna, Cher, and Lucy and Ricky of I Love Lucy.

My own two of sources of my personal irritation with Mo Do the SHE Dragon are as follows:

First, she has occupied valuable real estate of The Times -- including print edition for far too long without offering anything really meaningful, but instead just pop-cultural references tied into insipid blather that sounds clever when for the week but never really becomes anything of lasting value.

Secondly, MoDo was part of a media punditry cabal -- along with Ann Coulter and, yes, Kellyanne Conway (then Fitzpatrick) -- that was aptly described as a female Irish American Catholic sex police that came into existence during the 1990s Clinton Wars and that were utterly fixated the sexual morality of Bill (and, by extension, Hillary) Clinton and were part of the larger "VRWC."

Full disclosure: I came across the term "female Irish American Catholic sex police" in an online article -- possibly in Salon -- that I've never been able to find again.

Since we're inevitably descending into pop psychology here ...

Given the similarity between Coulter and Dowd (personal and professional life), and despite their apparent hyper-different political views, it doesn't surprise me that for both of them, Hillary (and her husband Bill) represent an object of incredible hatred.

Admittedly, though, at this point, Coulter is more of a political comedian and performance-art provocateur than anything else -- and one who appears to genuinely and tirelessly enjoy what she does.

Also, their Hillary hatred does not have the same psychological basis as that of the vituperative and very weird lesbian Camille Paglia. She's a horse of a different color, so to speak.

If you want a more typical Beltway treatment of Maureen Dowd, I suggest this fluffy piece by the journalistically useless Lloyd Grove (who when he was at The Post back in the 1990s, had the appropriate email "grovel").

OK, that's all for now. My plan is to go the gym again tomorrow (Tuesday) night and post another entry thereafter.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Jukebox Saturday Night for Jan. 27th, 2018: The So Amazing, Fate to the Wind, and Vida Edition

We'll start out on the right note ...

"So Amazing" by Luther Vandross from his album Give Me the Reason (1986)

To clarify, Luther Vandross wrote this song for Dionne Warwick, who performed it for her 1983 album How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, but then he performed this song for his 1986 album Give Me the Reason (the cover image of which is featured at left).

Gerald Albright also did a version of this song for his 1987 album Just Between Us.


Next up ...

"Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from their album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (1962)

Lyrics to this were later added by Carel Werber. There have been numerous instrumental versions made over the years.


And we'll end with something suitably Saturday night upbeat ...

"Vida" by Ricky Martin from the compilation One Love, One Rhythm – The 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Album (2014)

The video accompanying this is like a millennial-oriented Gap ad on steroids. 

However, I prefer to remark positively on the video, so I'll just quote what The Keeper of All Knowledge states:

[The video] features the singer relaxing in shorts and a tank-top while he sings on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. The video also contains around 100 extras including kids, samba dancers, models and others intended to represent the diversity of the Brazilian nation.

[Mike] Wass of Idolator praised the video, writing that Martin "looks great" in it and mentioned the Brazilian scenery was "pretty awesome".

And, no, this song should not be confused with Livin' la Vida Loca.


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


Saturday Evening Post for Jan. 27th, 2018: The Around Midnight and Not Much To Say Edition

**This entry was posted January 27th, 2018.**

Willard InterContinental Hotel lobby, Washington, D.C., 10:35PM January 26, 2018.


Late Saturday night.

I'm home watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night lineup that merges into the Sunday Sci-Fi Red Eye line up. Right now, I'm watching a Star Trek: The Original Series. The episode is "Wolf in the Fold."

Battlestar Galactica is up next -- and it is the very first episode of the 1978 and rebooted 1980 series, specifically, "Saga Of A Star World (aka Battlestar Galactica): Part 1." Last week, the featured episode was "The Return of Starbuck" -- the final one of the 1980 Galactica reboot.

Another view of the lobby of the Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, D.C., 10:35PM January 26, 2018.


I made it to the gym earlier but I was only able to do the weightlifting and a pool swim. I arrived there too late to get in a jog. The reason for this is that I slept in ridiculously late (as is my Saturday wont) because I went out last night and drank and spent too much (as is my Friday night wont).

I left the office late -- around 930PM -- and walked from L'Enfant Plaza over to Old Ebbitt Grill, but first I stopped at the Willard InterGalacticContinental hotel bar called the Round Robin for a drink. I then had a bit of dinner and a few more drinks at the Old Bar at Old Ebbitt Grill.

Thereafter, I walked to Trade, where I stopped for an hour or so, and then to No. 9 before heading home.

The "Peacock Alley" lobby hallway, Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, D.C., 10:36PM January 26, 2018.


As for tomorrow, I was supposed to meet my mom at Union Station as she was going to come in for the afternoon on the MARC train and go to lunch, but she is sick tonight so that's probably out.

The weather is mild and overcast. Hopefully, we will get some really needed rain. Colder weather and a chance of rain is in the forecast for the upcoming week but snow is unlikely.

OK, I'm going to end the entry now since I want to post my Jukebox Saturday Night entry before midnight. It is already completed, so I'll have it posted in a minute. My next planned entry will be late Monday or early Tuesday and will probably be a politically-themed one.


Friday, January 26, 2018

BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature for January 26th, 2018: Marriage Just Right and Commercial Spaceflight, Hallmark Card Edition

For many years, BIG Y'EYEMAH and LOSETURD Q. McNEBBISH had a marriage just right.

Living in TrumpWorld, they worked minimum wage jobs by day and slept in their trailer by night.

But one day BIG Y'EYEMAH ate so much corned cheese and so many beans that her bowels were all gassy a fright;

'Til finally from her backside there blew a methane wind with such gaseous might,

That she launched herself into Earth orbit and achieved her dream of commercial space flight.

And LOSETURD was left for the rest of his days to ponder his plight;

While into GOP smoggy heavens he gazed, hoping to catch a glimpse of BIG Y'EYEMAH's big backside reflecting the dazzling Sun at dawn's first light.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Another 3AM Hour Blog Installment: Tuesday Night Recap Plus Weary Wednesday; Cape Town Approaches "Day Zero"; Chait & Pierce Excerpts

**Updated 2:22PM 1/25/2018: See below.**

Owens Island, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands

See below for explanation of the tropical seaside images.


Wednesday night -- well, Thursday morning by the time I post this. I don't think it's possible for me to compose and post an entry in a timely fashion -- hence the 3AM postings.

Apartment view 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:49PM January 24, 2018


I'm home -- thank God, or as the late, great blogger Bartcop* would say, the Invisible Cloud Being -- and watching the late night Me-TV lineup of shows. It's the late weeknight usual: Carol Burnett & Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. If I stay up late enough, Mannix and Cannon.

I also made dinner.

*It's such a shame that Bartcop isn't around for the Trump era.

Apartment view in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:49PM January 24, 2018 


Last night was ridiculous in terms of all the places I went. I went with Tim to Dirty Habit in the Hotel Monaco (in Chinatown). A Trade bartender who is a bar manager at Dirty Habit was working.

Tim and I parted and thereafter, I went to nearby Gordon-Biersch, where I sat at the bar and had a 41-minute phone conversation with my dad (it being his 77th birthday).

Sky and row houses, 1700 block 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:16PM January 24, 2018


Next, I walked to Trade, where I stayed for maybe a half hour before going to No. 9 and thence to Annie's, where I met (as planned) my friend Fred. I then went to upstairs D-I-K bar before going home. (There was some other stuff, too, but I'm not going to go into it -- no, not involving any place I went or anyone I met.)

I will say that, naturally, I way overspent on my daily budget. As for this (Wednesday) morning, I simply couldn't get up and go to work. More broadly, I just couldn't face the world.

Stratocumulus clouds as seen from near the S Street dog park, Washington, D.C., 4:35PM January 24, 2018.

Updated 2:22PM 1/25/2018: These stratocumulus clouds were classic gravity wave clouds, and their appearance yesterday evening is discussed in this CWG entry.

Yes, the term here is "gravity wave" rather than "gravitational wave" --that is something entirely different.

End of Update.


Instead, I stayed home, although I was able to do a few hours of work editing a document. I also plan to work on an Excel spreadsheet a bit later tonight after I post this entry.

In staying home from work, I was able to grocery shop around 4 o'clock and then I went to the gym a bit after 530PM. I had a full, multi-part workout including treadmill jog, weightlifting, and pool swim.

Bare trees and more stratocumulus clouds, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, 4:43PM January 24, 2018


It's a blustery, chilly night -- although about average for late January. At the 11PM hour, there is the usual region-wide temperature discrepancy between National Airport and the other spots with KDCA at 37F, KBWI below freezing at 31F, and KIAD splitting the difference at 34F.

There isn't much weather to speak of -- we really need some rain. There might be some rain over the weekend. Accumulating snow is unlikely here anytime in the next 7 to 10 days.

An empty Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp (outside Cape Town), Western Cape, South Africa.


By the way, I read this story on the NPR site about a prolonged severe drought in parts of South Africa that has gotten so bad that Cape Town itself is set to run out of water -- and on a very specific day, April 12th, "Day Zero."

April 12th is the day when the city's dams (reservoirs) are considered depleted -- or at least the remaining water is shut off and residents are required to line up to collect an allotment of 6.5 gallons per day at one of about 200 distribution points to be set up across the City of Cape Town (the metropolitan municipality) with a population of 3.74 million.

A few notes:

The NPR article gives "Day Zero" as April 21st, but apparently it was moved up by Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to April 12th.

The term "dam" in South Africa is used for both the physical structure (earthen or otherwise) that creates an artificial reservoir as well as for the artificial reservoir (lake) itself. Source here.

6.5 gallons per day is the World Health Organization's guidelines for the minimum amount of water per person per say needed in an emergency.

Nearly empty Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp, Western Cape, South Africa (at some point in mid-2017)

Here is a detailed data dive on the severity of Cape Town's drought that appeared a few days ago on the News24 site (link embedded): How severe is Cape Town's drought? A detailed look at the data.


Chait and Pierce ...

For the remainder of this entry, I'd like to post some excerpts of recent political-themed pieces by Jonathan Chait and Charlie Pierce. The links are embedded in the headlines. The pictures I used to break up the text are tropical seaside ones that I copied from this photo-montage of "30 Beaches That Will Make You Forget About Winter." The lead picture to this entry is also from that photo-article.

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

I've been two Guadeloupe twice -- in March 1993 and again Feb 1998 to see a total solar eclipse.


For the first piece, it's too long to excerpt so I'm just posting the link:

Frenchman's Cove, Jamaica


Bloomberg has a report on Donald Trump's relationship with Theresa May. The particulars may not surprise you. In conversations between the two leaders, May "finds it almost impossible to make headway and get her points across, one person familiar with the matter said. Trump totally dominates the discussion, leaving the prime minister with five or ten seconds to speak before he interrupts and launches into another monologue." Moreover, Trump complains to her about criticism he has received in the British press, and threatened to withhold a visit "until she could promise him a warm welcome."

Great Courland Bay, Tobago


The reporting here echoes the primary revelations in a Washington Post report from last month. The report conveyed Trump's disdain for Angela Merkel, who shares with May two qualities that alienate Trump: She is female, and a democratically elected leader...

Les Salines, Martinique


The Post story quotes a Trump adviser describing Trump's favorite world leaders. "Who are the three guys in the world he most admires? President Xi [Jinping] of China, [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and [Vladimir] Putin. They're all the same guy."

Sugar Beach, St. Lucia


When they hacked Democratic emails, Russians were counting on a gullible mainstream news media and an unprincipled right-wing echo chamber to transform a bunch of trivial internal communications into a pseudo-scandal by wrenching them from all context. It is ironic that the current Republican effort to dismiss the very real scandal that arose from those hacks is using the exact same method.

West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


In his long and spotty career as a media critic, Howie Kurtz has been a monument to upward mobility, much like nausea is. In 2013, he ended up at the Fox News Channel, a career trajectory approximately as unpredictable as the daily passage of the sun. And now, in the era of President* Trump, he has decided to become a “rebel” against what he sees as a mutual suicide pact between the president* and The Media. From Politico:

Playa Bonita, Dominican Republican


"The past two years have radicalized me," Kurtz writes. "I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump."

If I want to study a tool, I'll go to trade school.

To borrow a phrase from young Mr. Lyman, I'd eat this book before I read it.

That's how Howie "Mistah" Kurtz has always rolled: A rightwing ass-hat with massive conflicts of interest pretending to be some god-like objective "media critic" journalist. As Pierce states, Kurtz is now a fucking apologist-tool for the Trump kleptocracy on the ostensible grounds of "objectivity" -- what a jackass.

Banana Bay, St. Kitts


OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be Friday evening. I'd like to post a BIG Y'EYEMAH-themed entry.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Another January 23rd: My Dad Turns 77; Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Other Late Night MeTV Viewing; and Brief Weather Update

It's January 23rd -- and that means it is my dad's birthday.

He turns 77 years old today.


As for my dad, he's fine -- more or less. He's still living down there in (or near) Flagler Beach in that trashy "Southern" part of north-central Florida in a seaside trailer park. I need to call him after work tomorrow (or rather, later today). And I am going down to visit him (with my mom) in April.

My dad and I and our bullmastiff "Borky" taken in our house on Kirby Avenue in Long Branch, N.J., circa 1977.

Yes, I know I've posted this picture multiple times. It is probably my favorite picture of him and me together. It was taken now 41 years ago. Back when he was 36 years old (and I was 7). (He had injured his hand, as I recall, in a karate tournament.)

I miss Borky. God, I loved that dog.


As for my mom, she turned 69 last month. That was how old Ray (my stepfather) was when he passed away just over a year ago. Ray's birthday was May 8th, so he was four months from his 70th birthday.

77 years old.

So strange. Life just passes.

My parents at Henry's House pub in Charleston, S.C., August 20, 2017.

This was taken the day before the eclipse. I was with them and Chris having dinner. (He was happier to see my mom - -his ex-wife from nearly half a century earlier -- than to see me. (Yes, I need to post my solar eclipse trip pictures. Five months after the fact, the entry is about half complete and in draft form.)


My dad was 29 when I was born, and I clearly remember when he was 35 years old (that was back in the mid-1970s in Long Branch, New Jersey). Even stranger is the thought that when he was 48, I was already 19 years old. He hadn't quite left New Jersey yet (that would come in early 1993) but grandma had already died.

I'm home now watching the usual late weeknight Me-TV lineup to include Carol Burnett and Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Oh, and if stay up late enough -- which I don't want to do tonight -- Mannix.)

I mention this not just because I typically mention it in these late night entries but because The Twilight Zone episode -- "The Hunt" -- that just concluded was sort of relevant, at least indirectly, to my above ponderings. This episode featured the actor Arthur Hunnicutt, who was so perfect for the role.

Prior to this was an excellent episode of Perry Mason, namely, "The Case of the Malicious Mariner."

This is an episode that one must watch carefully (and the commercials are few, short, and surprisingly far between). I love Perry Mason and Raymond Burr was so good in -- and so perfect for -- the series.

This is also one of the few black-and-white episodes that would actually have been better in color -- at least the parts featuring scuba diving on a tropical reef in the South Pacific (to recover sunken ship cargo).

Screenshot of the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Malicious Mariner."


Turning -- ever so briefly -- to the weather, a cold front is forecasted to move across the region tomorrow with showers and perhaps some low-topped (wintertime) thunderstorms and gusty winds.

It's a mild and muggy night with air temp around 52F. I just put on my window air conditioner.

Some weather maps:

NWS Great Lakes sector composite radar mosaic looped 0438-0548UTC January 23, 2018.


NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the eastern U.S. valid 3Z January 23, 2018.


WPC/NDGD surface U.S. weather map forecast for 12Z (7AM EST) January 23, 2018.


The frontal passage will end the recent bout of warm January weather. On Monday, temps climbed to 65F at KDCA, 62F at KBWI, and 66F at KIAD. Temps later today might get that high again but on Wednesday, it should be back in the 45F range. No winter weather is forthcoming for at least 7 to 10 days.

U.S. Drought Monitor map valid January 16, 2018.

This map doesn't include the D0 - D4 severity level legend but the D.C. and Baltimore areas are in D1 (moderate drought) with the "S" signifying "short term" impacts (less than six months).


We really, really need the rain as the region is in a moderate drought (see map above).

Oh, yes, I should mention that the federal government shutdown is over -- at least for now -- and I'd like to post a link to this Ezra Klein piece: Democrats didn't cave on the shutdown. It's a nice analytical summary of what transpired -- and one that I think is quite correct.

The crazies that occupy the White House thought this a good photograph to send out featuring a MAGA baseball cap-wearing Donald Trump seated in the Oval Office and pretending to "do work" during the shutdown (it was taken this past Saturday).

Note the completely empty desk, the expression, the total lack of connection to any reality. And speaking of this reality -- Trump occupying the Oval Office. Oh, the humanity, or in this case ... 

OK, that is all for now. Let me just note that I didn't post this entry until 330AM. My next planned update will be late Wednesday or early Thursday.