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GIRLS TOGETHER OUTRAGEOUSLY!

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Justine

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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!
https://www.dailykos.com/story/2018/9/20/1797242/-Don-Jr-tweets-a-slut-shaming-attack-on-Christine-Blasey-Ford-s-entire-high-school

Dis-fucking-graceful!

As one of the commenters on DailyKOS said, in regard to this outrage, "hey, Jr. is the next one to be indicted" by Mueller. Daddy cannot protect him, much less that asshole-in-law Jared.

September 20th, 2018

Of course we assume that Trumpsky's 18-month campaign to discredit the FBI has had an impact -- not only their morale but also Repubs' perception of the agency. According to today's WPost, however, the damage is more severe than ANYONE imagines. A mid-summer survey by the Pew Research Center establishes:

"...since early 2017, the share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents with a positive view of the [B]ureau has fallen 16 percentage points, from 65% to 49%,” according to Pew's report on its findings. “Today, Republicans are divided in their views of the FBI (49% favorable, 44% unfavorable). In January 2017, shortly before [Trump] took office, positive views of the FBI among Republicans outnumbered negative opinions by about three-to-one (65% to 21%). Democrats’ views of the FBI have changed little over this period: 77% of Democrats and Democratic leaners view the agency favorably, compared with 76% early last year.”

So Trumpsky's Senate henchmen can do what they fucking please about Christine Ford's request for an FBI investigation.

September 15th, 2018

Lordy, what a Friday!

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This is gonna be brief:
(1) Manafort made his plea deal, now must roll over on Trumpsky. It's The Donald's worst nightmare! Lose/lose, asshole!
(2) Kavanaugh is awkwardly accused of sex abuse in his youth -- will the accuser come forth to make it stick? (And don't think about statutes of limitations -- this is about his character, baby!)
(3) Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas hard. Awful harm for tens of thousands of citizens! Trumpsky's already got a carton of paper towels aboard Air Force One.

Maybe I should have led with the hurricane; that, at leaat, involves innocent human beings!

September 14th, 2018

Ronan Farrow on New Yorker's Website a few minutes ago: "Sources familiar with [Senator Diane] Feinstein’s decision suggested that she was acting out of concern for the privacy of the accuser, knowing that the woman would be subject to fierce partisan attacks if she came forward. Feinstein also acted out of a sense that Democrats would be better off focussing on legal, rather than personal, issues in their questioning of Kavanaugh. Sources who worked for other members of the Judiciary Committee said that they respected the need to protect the woman’s privacy, but that they didn’t understand why Feinstein had resisted answering legitimate questions about the allegation. 'We couldn’t understand what their rationale is for not briefing members on this. This is all very weird,' one of the congressional sources said. Another added, 'She’s had the letter since late July. And we all just found out about it.'”

WTF Diane??!
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