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GIRLS TOGETHER OUTRAGEOUSLY!

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Justine

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November 30th, 2018

Alas, I'm not keeping you gentle readers updated on our disastrous president and his misbegotten deals with Russia. (That is, the Mueller investigation that's now back on Washington's "front burner.")

But tonight's news analysis, about ex-Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen pleading guilty to perjury this morning, tells me that a showdown on the matter is coming soon. It's a high-risk effort.

A lot of local observers (yes, including me) were discouraged by Trumpsky's firing of Attorney General Sessions right after the Nov. 6 mid-term elections. Trying tor impose a hatchet man not confirmed by the US Senate, Matthew Whitman, in his place. It was evidently aimed at damaging Mueller's effectiveness, BUT the reactions tonight to Cohen's new cooperation with Mueller focus on Whitman NOT being asked to approve the Cohen indictment.

MSNBC commentators late this evening say that Whitman -- for unknown reasons -- is not yet in control of the investigation. Indeed, it appears that Deputy AG Rosenstein (whom Trumpsky pre-empted from becoming Acting AG two weeks ago) remains in charge of the Mueller investigation -- which the media had not known until now.

That may be good news -- perhaps showing that the controversial Whitman is recusing himself under Justice Dept. rules. Such a repeat of the Sessions history would surely infuriate Trumpsky. But key top-level career people at the Justice Dept. may be trying to finesse Whitman's much-criticized role -- quietly delaying the decision on his recusal.

The Mueller team astutely pushed the Cohen court case today -- a surprise to observers. This afternoon (before flying off to the Buenos Aires G-20 meeting), Trumpsky merely groused about his former attorney Cohen being a "weak" and inadequate lawyer -- NOT deigning to defend him. Does the nincompoop even KNOW that Whitman seems, in fact, to have been outmaneuvered on Cohen?

November 13th, 2018

Some Repubs give a damn!

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Today's Post has a terriflc op-ed by a senior Repub former oficial, Mitch Daniels. He is now President of Purdue University. Obviously he wrote in the wake of last week's midterm elections. And he deliberately attacks the Trumpies -- without calling them by name. (In short he still wants to be in politics -- who knows? Run for President?)

He takes as his leitmotiv Cormac McCarthy's decade-old novel, "No Country for Old Men" (which was made into an excellent movie a few years ago -- and which I saw).

Daniels writes: "the protagonist is a longtime county sheriff in south Texas who watches what has always been a rough-and-tumble environment descend rather suddenly into levels of violence and brutality that even that weathered veteran cannot cope with, or even comprehend.

"Even though bein’ sheriff was one of the best jobs you could have and bein’ a ex-sheriff was one of the worst,' by the book’s end, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is ready to quit...

"Just a decade ago, but in what now seems a parallel universe, one could run for public office without vilifying one’s adversary. In fact, you could even make a virtue of it."

Read the whole damned thing -- and despair at how we are failing as a nation (and, sadly, I'm not exaggerating):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/as-a-politician-i-vowed-not-to-attack-my-opponents-wheres-that-ethos-now/2018/11/09/fde28168-e399-11e8-8f5f-a55347f48762_story.html

November 8th, 2018

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2018/11/07/george-f-will-political/

Funny today to find the connection to conservative columnist George Will flows through the Salt Lake "Tribune" (rather than the local WashPost). But "no harm no foul"-- I use it however I can!

Will notably left the Repub Party when the Trumpies took over, and his column has become a bastion for reasonable resistance to the Crook/Crank-in-Chief.

Today, the column concerns the Mid-term results, and is peculiarly titled "A shot of amiability in our politicsl system?" Not unsurprisingly, Will upbraided the Dems for their ego-trip against Trump, arguing that "despising this president [neither Will nor I concede the crazy bastard a capital-"p"], though understandable, is insufficient."

He ironically concedes Trump has "unified" the Repubs, the HARD way -- his bizarro csmpaign on Tuesday eliminating from the game many Repub moderates.

"Hitherto, [the historical GOP] having been divided between Theodore Roosevelt progressives and William Howard Taft conservatives, between Robert Taft conservatives and Thomas Dewey moderates, [and] between Rockefeller liberals and Goldwater libertarians. In today's monochrome GOP -- color it orange for the coiffeur of its Dear Leader -- postures range all the way from sycophancy to adoration" [sic -- not a long distance!].

Finally, he seems to think there will be less rancor between Repubs and Dems. He notes that our first Chief Justice John Marshall was involved in ratifying the then brand-new Constitution. According to Will, Marshall later wrote: "the county in which I resided decidedly [opposed ratification]. but I was then popular and parties had not yet become so bitter as to extinguish private affections." Will believes that "amicability could be infectious in a nation weary of politics..."

He concludes, "Someday, someone in the upper reaches of politics is going to resort to amicability, as a novelty, and his or her party will prosper."
My apologies to one and all for not posting in the last three weeks. The Mid-term elections yesterday kind of overwhelmed me, and -- suddenly -- they were past!

I focussed during last evening's coverage of the poll returns on the several key Florida races, being a resident there -- and an enthusiastic supporter of gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, Alas, he lost. I truly hate Scott, the incumbent, who had challenged Nelson for his US Senate seat -- and, alas, seems to have won. I was also disappointed in another Senate race, that of Ted Cruz in Texas -- who beat the highly touted Beto O'Rourk.

I was happy to see Dems take control of the US House of Representatives -- but I awoke this morning feeling a bit like I did two years ago, after Trump's outrageous win in the Electoral College (BTW a stupid anachronism that we should get rid of). Losing the popular total by no less than three million votes, but we're stuck with him...for now.

But it became apparent today that the margin of 30-odd seats in Congress was no small victory. Especially as we heard details of individual races, including many DOZENS of women gaining seats -- there will be about a hundred Dem Congresswomen.

But, this afternoon, that bastard Trumpsky tried to "steal the Dems' thunder" by firing Attorney General Sessions -- a long-expected move to thwart Mueller's ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in 2016's elections. The Asshole-in-Chief hatched a pathetic maneuver to replace Sessions with an "errand boy" temporarily in charge -- to curb Mueller or shut down the nearly complete inquiry.

The first protest marches are announced for 5:00 pm on Thursday, including in front of the White House. We will not let the nefarious scheme be implemented. Joanne and I plan to be there -- it will be historic! Trumpsky will become the 21st century's Nixon...

October 13th, 2018

We love one particular national institution here in Washington, the Kennedy Center, and last evening we had a unique experience there. It was a genuinely odd production of "Measure for Measure" -- considered to be Shakespeare's only "other" play about justice and mercy ("Merchant of Venice" being the first).

"Odd" because it was in Russian, with opera-like subtitles of the English text projected on a screen above the stage.

It was a co-production by the Pushkin Theater of Moscow and London's unique "Cheek by Jowl" company -- dedicated to such joint productionns. (Do Google it for the convoluted plot, which has more sex -- even nudity -- in it than one might imagine in WS's works.)

It sounds a bit cumbersome, but it worked extremely well, including some period music and dance -- quite elegantly added by the British adapters.

Both of us overheard many local Russian-speakers in the audience: impressive since there will be four other performances here, including a Saturday matinee -- many hundreds of Washington's Russian community evidently are turning out for the event.

AND, given the bad state of US-Russian relations currently, one wonders just how Putin would react if he were aware of the great success of this venture.

Also, it was the first time we've seen "Measure," which is among the least performed of the Bard's works. Back home, I just looked it up in Asimov's classic Shakespeare compendium, learning a lot about the only one of his plays set in Vienna, and in the 16th century--historically correct, as I learned.

October 12th, 2018

Dear friends: life in the political universe is getting messier and more threatening. Bad as Trump is here in the US, there are similar forces at work in the rest of the world. Last week's election in Brazil was a notably awful "good example": Jair Bolsonaro, ex-Army colonel and 30-year member of the Chamber of Deputies, got a near-majority and is the favorite in a run-off.

To share with you a good article (in Spanish, from "Politica Exterior"-- meaning Foreign Policy) on the Brazil debacle, I need to presume a bit of rough appreciation of Latinate languages.

For instance: Bolsonaro's crude program slips all too lightly over "problemas complejos [complex] como la corrupción o la inseguridad ciudadana [lack of citizen security], patriotismo excluyente [exclusionary] y odio a [hate for] mujeres, negros, indígenas y LGTB’s [women, blacks, indians and gays] son los ingredientes principales de su programa político."

That wasn't so hard, was it? It's The Donald in the tropics.

His run has been "...una intensa campaña de desinformación e intoxicación como el candidato en contra de las élites y el poder establecido," It's so fucking easy to go against supposed elites and a country's "establishment" anywere...

Distinct from Trump's recipe, domestic crime is the key to Bolsonaro's rise: "las autoridades se muestren incapaces [government has shown itself incapable] de detener el avance del crimen organizado, con el resultado de que en el último año se registraron más de 60.000 asesinatos [in 2017 more than 60,000 murders] en el país."
Dear friends: life in the political universe is getting messier and more threatening. Bad as Trump is here in the US, there are similar forces at work in the rest of the world. Last week's election in Brazil was a notably awful "good example": Jair Bolsonaro, ex-Army colonel and 30-year member of the Chamber of Deputies, got a near-majority and is the favorite in a run-off.

To share with you a good article (in Spanish, from "Politica Exterior"-- meaning Foreign Policy) on the Brazil debacle, I need to presume a bit of rough appreciation of Latinate languages.

For instance: Bolsonaro's crude program slips all too lightly over "problemas complejos [complex] como la corrupción o la inseguridad ciudadana [citizenry], patriotismo excluyente [exclusionary] y odio a [hate for] mujeres, negros, indígenas y LGTB’s [women, blacks, indians and gays] son los ingredientes principales de su programa político."

That wasn't so hard, was it? It's The Donald in the tropics.

His run has been "...una intensa campaña de desinformación e intoxicación como el candidato en contra de las élites y el poder establecido," It's so fucking easy to go against supposed elites and a country's "establishment" anywere...

September 30th, 2018

Saturday Night Live wasn't all that good tonight, BUT they did a terrific send-up of the Senate Judiciary Committee session laat Thursday.

And the best part was Kate McKinnon's parody of Sen. Lindsey Graham. Kate is gifted in her. impersonations -- and she really captured the jerk's scowl and his freaky finger-pointing rant.

In a cameo role, movie actor Matt Damon captured Kavanaugh's mean-spirited bursts of anger. Matt was great in his take on K's bizarre self-image as a beer-swilling "normal" teenage boy....

September 23rd, 2018

Redskins WIN (sic!)

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We Washingtonians had long ago GIVEN UP on "our" Redskins. (Please, you guys, change the fucking name!! It is offensive!)

They have been flat lousy for half a decade! In fact, the last time I personally aaw them win a game was at least THREE YEARS AGO!

So, we hadn't planned to watch today -- in fact, had pretty much given up following football at all. But at maybe 2:30 today, a local friend called and said she WAS watching and the 'Skins had a healthy lead!

So we caught it from the second quarter, including a brilliant touchdown by Adrian Peterson. Who?

Um...I hadn't even noticed Washington had Adrian on board -- but, as was duly explained by the commentators. he had seemingly "aged out" of his NFL career, dropped by the AZ Cardinals. The Redskins only picked him up when their running back got injured some weeks ago.

Well, Peterson wound up getting 120 yards rushing and TWO amazing touchdowns! Game wound up 30-odd to 17 -- Green Bay's quarterback Aaron Rodgers (himself no spring chicken!) playing injured.

Now I'm getting phonecalls from other friends who got the news. "Can you beliee it?" "Stunning!"

Coach Gruden (whom few spoke well of -- the third or fourth "rotten schmuck" they've had since doing ANY real winning) may have found the magic formula!

We won't know for TWO weeks, though, since next weekend is a "bye"...by then, the curse may have returned!

September 21st, 2018

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/24/with-fear-and-trump-bob-woodward-has-a-bookend-to-the-nixon-story

New Yorker magazine's keenest political analyst, George Packer, wrote a 7-pagagraph lead in this week's print issue. (I track their Website, too, but missed Packer's piece last weekend when it presumably previewed. So I was doubly struck as the print version fetched up here in the mail.)

You astute readers should click the URL above and absorb every single word. It IS scary, as it sums up the Woodward book, "Fear" (itself an audacious title, raking through the rubble of Trumpsky's reign thus far -- creating real doubt that he or WE! will last!).

Packer's most worrisome conclusion regards a NYTimes anonymous op-ed ten days ago by a senior Trump official. New Yorker opines, "if this is the resistance, we watch it getting crushed. By the end of 'Fear,' Trump has won in a rout."

Bad news, my friends!
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