Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saturday Evening Post for April 28th, 2018: Spring Topical Assortment Interspersed with Recent Pics from U,V, and W Street NW

**This entry was posted April 28th, 2018.**

Sunlit alley off 1300 block, U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:06PM April 26, 2018.

There is a trio of alleys back there between U Street Wallach Place (a side street between U and T Streets) that have names to include Treto Way, Nap Turner Way (since it is next to Twins Jazz nightclub), and a third one beginning with a "P" except I can't remember it.

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Saturday night.

I'm back from the gym and in for the night watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night lineup.

The Wonder Woman episode tonight was the pilot episode of the 1970s series -- "Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther" -- and marks the start of the season set during World War II rather than the 1970s as were seasons 2 and 3.

The episode on Star Trek: The Original Series later is "Spock's Brain" while Battlestar Galactica's is "Fire in Space." Thereafter, and as part of the Sunday Red-Eye Sci-Fi line up, Kolchak: The Night Stalker is showing the episode "Legacy of Terror."

I'll stay up for that and the Lost in Space episode "Wish Upon a Star" but I doubt I'll make it to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Land of the Giants.

As it is, I would like to get up by, say, 11AM and have my Sunday free day. Based upon the forecasted weather, it is a very suitable day for a walk.

Of yes, the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie was weird and slightly gross one (especially for such an old film) and that I didn't really like: Mr. Sardonicus.

The actor who plays Sir Robert Cargrave is Ronald Lewis. Of note, Lewis reminds me of the actor Matt Dallas, who at this point is probably best known for his popular weekly web video postings with his husband Blue Hamilton that center around raising their adopted, now-three-year old son Crow. Here is a side-by-side image (not the same size):

Ronald Lewis (left) and Matt Dallas (right)

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About the weather ...

Tonight is quite nice: Partly / variably cloudy with air temp around 65F, a northeasterly breeze, and dew points around 45F. There were some showers and thunderstorms around the "DMV" (District of Columbia, the Maryland D.C. suburbs, and Northern Virginia) this evening in association with a cold front crossing the mid-Atlantic.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the eastern U.S., 21Z (5PM EDT) April 28, 2018.

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This front is associated with a fairly broad and deep trough with chilly-to-cold temperatures into tomorrow morning with widespread frost and freeze warnings in effect for parts of the Ohio River valley and parts of the central Appalachians.

NWS weather advisories for the United States updated 0013UTC April 29, 2018 (8:13PM EDT April 28, 2018)

Those are frost and freeze warnings in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Out west, those are all red flag warnings.

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Tomorrow is forecasted to be a rather cool, blustery day around the Baltimore/Washington region with highs in the 55F to 60F with a gusty northwesterly breeze. However, as the surface high moves across the eastern U.S., and then offshore, the return flow will usher in warmer air with high temps forecasted to climb to 85F or so for the D.C. area by Thursday with sunny, dry conditions all week. The next chance of showers isn't forecasted until Friday into next weekend.

NWS/WPC/NDFD U.S. surface weather map forecast for 6Z (2AM EDT) April 29, 2018

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I should note that something is malfunctioning with the NWS past weather and three-day history sites. The past weather site (meta-index page: https://w2.weather.gov/) is not working and the three-day history page (meta-index page: https://w1.weather.gov/ is giving a "THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE" certificate warning regardless of whether I use Chrome or Edge browser.

For that reason, I cannot provide information on how much precipitation fell late Thursday and early Friday but it was around 3/4-inch, which should put at least National Airport above normal for the month.

I should note that as I write this (10:41PM), a cluster of showers and thunderstorms is pushing across the D.C. area.

Sterling (LWX) NWS composite mode radar looped 9:48PM - 10:34PM EDT April 28, 2018.

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Changing topics, I had wanted to call attention to this Jonathan Chait piece from April 2018 (link embedded): Fanatic, Fraud, Factotum: The Rise and Fall of Paul Ryan.

The piece followed House Speaker Paul Ryan's hardly-a-secret-or-surprising announcement that he is retiring at the end of the current Congress rather than face whatever is going to happen -- "blue wave" or not -- this November.

Dockless and seatless bike along the 14th Street (near P Street) NW, Washington, D.C., 2:35AM April 28, 2018

The dockless bikes being parked -- dropped -- dumped -- literally anywhere is the downside of the wonder of dockless technology. In this case, the bike is also missing a seat.

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Chait notes what a fanatical libertarian true-believer is Ryan, a man whose entire political life has been dedicated to proposition that shoveling wealth upwards to the "makers" from whom all virtue flows supposedly flows is the highest form of good and that this philosophy, such as it is, has existed in an uneasy alliance with Trumpism in all its obscene, smash-and-grab kleptocratic, narcissistic, and would-be (but for its incompetence) fascistic, historical ignominy.

A sort of "mackerel" evening sky seen from 1400 block of V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:50PM April 26, 2018.

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Excerpt (without the few embedded links in the text):

"What finally killed off the myth of Paul Ryan was Donald Trump. Here was a figure who absolutely revolted the same elites Ryan had cultivated. In the face of something as large and obvious and grotesque as Trump, Ryan could no longer straddle the gap between his base and the national media. He tried, for a while, by publicly standing behind his party’s nominee while signaling his discomfort sub rosa."

Another view of the "mackerel" evening sky as seen from the 1400 block of V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:50PM April 26, 2018.

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Cont'd excerpt:

"Once Trump assumed the presidency, the contradiction became impossible to ignore or manage. Ryan submitted himself fully to the president. As House Speaker, Ryan has played an indispensable role in insulating Trump from public and legal accountability. Ryan has buried votes that would compel the release of Trump’s tax returns, and unleashed Devin Nunes to run a counter-investigation designed to discredit the Department of Justice and ultimately clear the way for Trump to halt the probe of Russian interference on his behalf."

View looking west down 1500 block of V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:56PM April 28, 2018.

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Cont'd excerpt:

"This has not gone the exact way Ryan would have liked. In his perfect world, Republicans would run on tax cuts, carry out deep cuts to social insurance programs, and everyone in America would be devouring editorials from The Wall Street Journal. But political reality demands compromises. And those constraints have forced Ryan to choose what really matters to him: the protection of the makers from the predations of the takers."

View of the southwest corner of Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 3:57PM April 28, 2018.

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"The critics who flay Ryan as a coward have never understood that his actions are a form of idealism. To Ryan, the greatest danger to liberty lies not in a president who defies the rule of law but in high tax rates and a functioning social safety net. When Ryan speaks with pride about the policy accomplishments he helped carry out with Trump, he is not spinning. In Ryan's worldview, he has struck a powerful blow for liberty against the socialist hordes. Ryan leaves his endangered majority convinced he has done his job well. It is a triumph of his own propaganda that so few people believe he is actually sincere about this."

Row houses on a spring day, 1400 block W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:58PM April 28, 2018.

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This raises the point that the reason the GOP does nothing to stop such a crude, embarrassing vulgarian as Trump: The party leadership knows that Trump is the vehicle by which it is getting the billionaire donor class "agenda" through so they do nothing to stop him.

So you have in the GOP the weird libertarianism of Ryan which has zero political constituency, the oligarchical agenda of the donor overclass, and the ethno-racial panic of the downwardly mobile white working class that all meshed into one perfect shit-storm -- and Ryan is probably making a strategically correct decision to bail.

Another view of the row houses in the 1400 block W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:58PM April 28, 2018.

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I'd like to add, though, I'm doubtful that Trump's popularity will never fall much lower than it is right now (40%) no matter what he does, and it wouldn't shock me if we wins reelection, especially given the way GOP power is disbursed throughout the U.S. and that late 18th Century abomination of the Electoral College. Rather, Trump is far more likely simply to not run (or even resign / be removed from office) than to be defeated in a fair-and-square election.

The weird thing is that it is the FBI, Justice Department, and other traditionally conservative, Republican-tilted institutions that are likely to check / stop the worst of Trumpism.

Kwanzan cherry tree blossoms, 1400 block W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:59PM April 28, 2018.

I think this variety of Japanese flowering cherry tree is a lot prettier than the Yoshino, but no one ever really notes these.

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Before I sign off, I'd like to note this segment on Bill Maher's Real Time program on Friday night. Rather than a "New Rules" segment, it was an "open letter," of sorts, to his "dear friend" Roseanne Barr.

Roseanne, of course, has made headlines with the reboot of her self-titled show Roseanne set in the present-day Trump era and Roseanne herself has also made news by being a vocal supporter Trump, a fact that belies her entire history of being basically a Socialist.

Evening, 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM April 28, 2018.

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Maher begins by noting how much he likes Roseanne thanks to their past collaborations to include when she appeared on his show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and, even earlier, when Maher appeared on an episode of Roseanne. He also notes how she was openly with him when he mocked Oprah for celebrating the "religion of materialism."

Here is the full segment that Maher entitled "Rosie: The Pivoter"



Focusing on the fundamental fraud and world-class con artist that is Donald Trump, some of the lines in the segment are hilarious such as: "He's not a champion of the common man. He's a Koch Brother in Rip Taylor's wig."


The ending is worth quoting:

"So here's the deal. I get that you were mad as hell and wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the entire works, and I won't judge that. BUT if in the next six months, you don't see Trump's magic starting to work for you, if you're still trading pills and driving an Uber, wouldn't the more realistic plot line for Season 2 be your disillusionment with Donald Trump?"


"There's no shame in it. You saw a miracle product on TV and you ordered it. You impulse purchased a Trump. It promised to drain swamps, build walls, and make things great again. But you got it home and it flooded your basement, maxed out your credit cards, and dropped your phone in the toilet!"



I also caught the discussion segment "Evangelicals, Facebook, and Cultural Suicide" on the same Real Time episode -- involving Maher and his guest panel consisting of Ronan Farrow, Ross Douthat, Ian Bremmer, Ana Marie Cox and John Podhoretz -- is worth watching. The YouTube version of it is directly above. (FYI: I don't particularly like Ronan Farrow. Look at him in the freeze-frame image above.)

OK, that's all for now.

Yours truly in my apartment, Washington, D.C., 11:36PM April 25, 2018.

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My upcoming week will be a busy one as I have to attend for work a four-day "peer review" conference in Crystal City that will require me to keep a morning schedule with Thursday the earliest day by far (830AM). That being the case, my blogging will be limited during the week, though I'll try to post a couple brief ones.

My jukebox Saturday night entry to follow shortly.

--Regulus

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