Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gillibrand and Castro And Babbard

At least 3 more entered the fray this week. None are making me super pumped.

Julian Castor is no surprise. He's been sniffing around for a long time. He is very young, but seems okay.

He says all the right things, was the mayor of the 7th largest US city (San Antonio!) for a while.

But there hasn't been any clamoring for him to run. He seems pleasantly bland. Maybe a pleasant bland Latino is the anti-Trump, but I am not sure that is enough going forward.

His experience seems a bit lacking to me - particularly none in International Affairs and we are going to have to repair a lot of relationships.

He seems fine.
Then there is Kristin Gillibrand.

She is my current Senator. I like her more than Chuck Schumer, but that ain't saying a whole lot.

Here's my 2cents on Gillibrand. She is in many ways perfect. She's a centrist (although recently she has been tacking left for the primary), she has valued women's issues for a long time.

She is reasonable, smart and capable. Again, she's not going to set you on fire.

But her big drawback is Hillary Clinton. IN two ways. First as a Democratic Senator from New York that was pretty conservative and is now more liberal - just like Hillary.  Second she worked for Hillary's election pretty hard. She is going to be easy to paint as a 2nd Hillary. And that is not good.

And then there is Tulsi Gabbard. That is a hard no for me.

Tulsi spent much of her early career fighting hard against gay marriage in Hawaii. She worked for her father's group "Stop Promoting Homosexuality" and the "National Campaign to Protect Marriage" and Hawaii's own "Save Traditional Marraige"

I know people can change their mind and I don't want her to lose her seat or anything, but I won't be supporting her.

From Fox News: Gabbard was a visible force against same-sex marriage, and in 2004 spearheaded a fight in the state against a same-sex union measure. “To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii,” she said at the time. “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

Disagreeing with me on a topic is fine, saying that my wanting to get married is somehow dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful is her right. And my right is to judge her purely by her words. So let me respectfully say, no thanks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Roman Amphitheater parts used to build church of St. Donatus, Zadar

Round Church in the center left is St. Donatus
Stumbling across some pictures as I am trying to get them ready for Jane. These are of the church of St. Donatus in Zadar, Croatia.  Here is the blurb from wikipeida...

The Church of St Donatus is a church located in Zadar, Croatia. Its name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. Originally named Church of the Holy Trinity, in the 15th century it was re-dedicated to St Donatus. Wikipedia
It is fascinating because it is now a museum / performance space. A lot of the columns are set on pedestals that were pulled from the old roman amphitheater or graveyards.  Look at see.

The Tuesday New York Times Sceince Section

I do like the New York Times. Should we leave New York, leaving the NY Times will be tough to do. For me, for years, the LA Times was a great paper.

I actually sent it to my mom when she lived away from Los Angeles. And when I was in grad school in San Diego (1988), I had it delivered in La Jolla. Actually it was San Diego's biggest paper (edging out the San Diego local paper) because of it's reporting and seriousness.

The full sad story of the LA Times can be found here, but that isn't the point of this post.

No, today's post is to celebrate the New York Times. And no better example of their service is that they still have a weekly Science Section. Today's was about the European Jackal.
The image is from the online version, but the physical paper has a "Science Section" every Tuesday. It's very cool.

Spoiler alert, the Jackal population has has boomed as the European Wolf eradication in the Balkans has opened up a ecological niche.  Climate Change is now increasing the potential Jackal territory.  You see, Jackals can't live where snow is on the ground more than 100 days - which used to keep them in the Balkans (hemmed in by the Hungarian Steppe and Julian Alps). but now, as there is less snow they have left the Balkans and are now seen in Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Estonia.

And yes, they are very much coyote like, but not quite as social and still afraid of people.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Senate Outlaws Lynching. Evangelicals Lobby House of Representatives to Remove Restrictions for LBGT Lynchings from Bill

Really, say you?  Aye, Aye, say I.


 You see, it is a slippery slope. If you protect fags from being lynched, then they will want other protections...

(FYI - It is not the first time LBGT people and rights from harm have been spelled out in the Federal Law.)

Yes, Collusion.

In case you missed it this week, there was proof of collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russian intelligence services.


Paul Manafort submitted a filing and his lawyers missed redacting part of it. Therefore it is available for people to read. In the unredacted filing, he acknowledges that - as Trumps Campaign Manager - he shared internal polling data with a Ukrainian who is tied to the Russian Intelligence. He admits to lying about it (or forgetting to mention it). The Russian intelligence used detailed polling data to identify targets on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

President Trump's campaign conspired with a foreign power - and not just any foreign power, but Russia - to sway a United States election.

I would say, what if a Democrat did this, but you know what a Democrat, and person of honor would not do this. No other Republicans did.

Have the Republicans, who continue to stand behind this man, have no shame?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

So Scott, What The Hell is Going On over there?

For my British friends that are perpetually confused by American government, and extra confused now. Here are the basics.

About 1/2 of our government is either working without pay or shut down. This includes our Airline Security personnel (the TSA and the Air Traffic Controllers) and our Border Agents, all of whom are expected to work without pay.

It effects about 800,000 government employees - many who will probably get back pay later - and about 600,000 contractors who will not get back pay for the last 21 days.

It all started, as these things do, with a Trump about-face. A stumble by the Republicans, fully. In December, the President agreed to fund the government for a few months at current levels with no wall.  This was to cover the government until the Democrats took over the House of Representatives.

That agreement passed the Senate 100 - 0 and went to the House of Representatives. But, in the 2 or so days between Senate and House votes, the conservative press complained loudly that there was no wall money. And, with the Republicans loosing control of the House of Representatives, this was the last chance to get wall money. The press in general, and Ann Coulter in particular, made fun of Trump's manliness and we were off to the races.

Must ... stop ... brain ... hurts... so very muchhhhh

She got keen competition....


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Because you taste like Lucky Strikes...

I was going to post the new video of Trump saying he never said Mexico would "Pay!" for the wall. and then, going to YouTube, I found this.  I like it better....

Have you ever crushed on anyone so hard that even their cigarette smoking made you think of them...

Lucky Strikes ...

I Am Rather Opinionless on Kamala Harris

I don't have much of an opinion on Kamala Harris and her bid for President. I don't really know enough about her, she rose to prominence after I left California. I am not negative towards her, but also not positive. She was very good (or very bad depending on your position) in the Kavaugh hearings, but that isn't enough of sample for me.

President Trump gets flustered, bitter and racist when dealing with women of color, so it would be a particularly ugly campaign and a bitter loss for either side. I am not sure that is the best thing for the country. But I an uncomfortable letting a racist determine who should run.

I am not sure she is progressive enough to inspire voters, but I am sure that her recent movement towards overt progressive positions smack of political expediency. I suppose we will see.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Palm Springs Dreaming (or is it a fever dream)

So, we all know I love house porn. Sometimes I dream of moving back to Palm Springs and I look at houses. I have a Trulia pop-up when there is a house I am thinking of.

Usually the houses have been redone by that whole "house-flippers-do-mid-century-modern-gay" vibe that I really do love.  Occasionally, though, one is sent that just slays me.

This one says it needs updating. That is an understatement! I both love and hate this house. It is like the worst of the 70s. It is SO over the top, I kind of want it!!! It is so horrible, it has moved right to kitsch. I think you could rent it for bad movies....

Cuz you can't have too much orange.

Bathroom 1

Bathroom 2

Yes kids, the Aztec god is guarding the orange shag game room!

Well... THAT was a waste of time.... (Update)

(Update) I do want to say that Trump's fearmongering was effective. He rightly talked about 3 attacks from illegal immigrants. They came back from Mexico at points where there were already walls, but they did commit crimes - heinous crimes. Like any criminal, they should be fully prosecuted.  And, sanctuary city or not, any criminal should be turned over to ICE when convicted of a crime.

That was 30 minutes I'll never get back.

For those of you lucky enough to miss it, President Trump delivered a massively dull speech that tried to spark fear in the hearts of millions. It then fell to Nancy Pelosi to bore us with the facts and Chuck Schumer to bore us with emotion on the Democratic Response.

My guess is that this did nothing to change anyone's mind.

It did have Ed and I wondering if the President is snorting Adderall or Cocaine.  His deep inhales through a clearly blocked nose were a give away that one could not stop hearing. And his feverishly calm manner lead me to believe Adderall. It was like he was being tortured to sit still.

Now I (honestly) have never snorted Adderall, but I worked at a bar long enough to know the signs of someone who wants to get away from the cameras for a minute just to get a hit.

And now for something a bit lighter... our very own Very Special Genius President reminder me most of... Brenda Vaccaro hawking Tampons....

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Motis Distractus

The President is going on TV tonight to explain why our Meixcan border is a security crisis - even though there are already 600 miles of fencing in the most critical areas....

Presumably, he will not discuss why he agreed to pass a budget with no wall money and then changed his mind when Fox News and Ann Coulter bitched at him. Presumably he will not discuss how the $1.6 Billion from the last Congress hasn't been spent yet, but getting another $5.6 Billion is a crisis. Or that border crossings are way down....

Presumably he WILL reiterate the lies that his office has said over and over.

**Surely the American people won't let these side-show tactics force them into forgetting that: Trump's emoluments lawsuit is going forward, that Trump's New York investigation into Campaign Finance violations found he violated the law, that the Supreme Court today denied a foreign company's request to ignore the Muller investigation, the the Muller Investigation has found multiple guilty verdicts and pleas.** (This paragraph should have been in sarcasm font.)

Just to get ahead of the lies, USA Today (no liberal bastion) has checked some facts which Very Special Genius has lied about. Repeatedly. (FULL LINK)

Illegal border crossings are down. Significantly.
In 2000, 1.6 million people were apprehended trying to cross the southern border into the United States. In 2001, 1.3 million were apprehended. In 2018? Less than 400,000. That’s not just a decline. It’s a significant decline.
A lot of the decline was because of the recession, which dried up jobs migrants were seeking to fill. But if we’re being fair, apprehension numbers reached a low of about 310,000 in 2017 in part because of increased border enforcement and fear of Trump and his anti-immigrant policies.