RIP GOP: State Sovereignty

Oh blessed irony in motion this week!

Trump’s campaign manager and regime capo, Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 7.5 years prison time for high crimes and misdemeanors committed at a federal level against the all of us. Not much time for the crime. But! in a New York minute after that sentence was announced, he was charged by New York prosecutors for crimes committed in violation of state law against the some of us.

And Trump can pardon Manafort’s his federal crime-time but he has no jurisdiction, no standing to pardon Manafort for NY state crimes. State sovereignty rules! And by rules, I mean laws.

And irony? As the GOP systemically dismantles, shrinks, and destroys the federal government, state officials assert jurisdiction and stamp out GOP shenanigans both administrative and individual. Governors of New Mexico and California have withdrawn troops from the border “emergency” and Paul Manafort can’t weasel out of New York justice.

Nationally, the Trump Regime appears to be doing fine. The Trump Crime Family Syndicate? Well, on a more local level, the state of New York could do Jared and Ivanka next.

And when Trump leaves office? Well, I’m sure New York will take all of a minute …


I was disappointed to read that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said “he’s just not worth it” when asked about impeachment. And pundits and publications made much hay of the whys and wherefores and defrauding voters and dump trucks full of angst and how-ever-could-she-say-that anguish. So in fit of due diligence, I pulled up the whole interview and here is the Speaker’s full response to the statement regarding impeachment:

There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.

Joe Heim, Nancy Pelosi on Impeaching Trump: ‘He’s Just Not Worth It’, The Washington Post Magazine, March 11, 2019.

But whilst reading my way to “… he’s just not worth it ...” which does make a great click-bait-get-me-lathered-up-angry headline, I read this:

For 2020, your goal is to keep control of the House and have a Democrat elected president.

And the Senate, the whole thing.


Joe Heim, Nancy Pelosi on Impeaching Trump: ‘He’s Just Not Worth It’, The Washington Post Magazine, March 11, 2019.

Impeachment? A tactical move in battle sure to be lost without bipartisan support.

Taking the Presidency, House, and Senate? Strategy.

And I hate that following this analogy through means winning the war. And the war is internal. Civil-not-civil. Ugh.


We were excited with the announcement that the Democratic National Convention will be held in Milwaukee, WI at the Fiserv Forum, July 13-16, 2020.

And we are here for it! (Post: Circus Maximii featuring the FiServ Forum.)


A reminder: If you live in the sovereign state of Wisconsin, mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 2, 2019. There is an election for a State Supreme Court Justice (Ballotpedia).

VOTE!


Footnote: These are links to sources supporting my statement that the GOP seeks to shrink and destroy the Federal government. Read at your own risk and don’t forget to breathe:

  • Defund the Federal Government: Daily Kos ” … abolishing the federal government in its entirety – including all agencies, acts of Congress, departments, and programs …
  • Overthrow Project: The Nation – “… government as an appendage to private enterprise”
  • Constitutional Convention: The Hill – amending the Constitution “… by another method, one that’s never been used in the nation’s history ...”

Know Bernie? No Bernie. A candle in the wind.

tl;dr? Bernie Sanders reminds me of the Uncle in the Ingmar Bergman film, Fannie & Alexander. Bernie should lead from behind — pun intended — sit out any 2020 run for President, and fade out in politics with a legacy in support of the 2020 Democratic nominee.

The action really gets going at 1:30.

Will read? Hear we go.

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, reminds me of the Uncle in the Ingmar Bergman film, Fanny & Alexander. It is not his party. It is not his house. He did not set the table. He did not prepare the food. And like Bernie, he attracts a young audience, captures their attention, and is rigorous in keeping them entertained. We watch as he is rigorous in exercise but in the end he is just full of wind, blows out the lights, and leaves us to find our own way back in the dark. In dark, rank air.


Bernie’s receipts are out-of-date. The photos of Bernie Sanders in civil rights protests are almost as old as I am. And I am older than twelve. And twelve is the number of years Mr. Sanders has been a US Senator. And a US Senator is surely more persuasive and powerful than a protester in 1962.

What have you done lately Mr. Sanders?


Bernie does not play well with others. Fierce independence is admirable when you’re the only one on the island. Fierce independence when the fight is for group survival, eh? Not so much. In 2016, Hillary did not make her planned trip through Wisconsin because of the Pulse nightclub massacre. She asked Bernie to visit Wisconsin in her stead. She trusted him to go as a DNC liaison, a representative for the Democratic 2016 nominee for President.

And vested with all that trust … he didn’t. Bernie with his cult-like following, with his charisma and charm couldn’t be bothered to show up and help the party.

Hillary lost Wisconsin in 2016.

Hillary lost the run for President.

Bernie is a spoiling spoiled spoiler.


Bernie hasn’t released his taxes. Bernie hedges. Bernie is elliptical and elusive. Bernie doesn’t want us to see his taxes. He’ll release them if he gets the nomination or soon or …

Sorry Bernie. You claim they’re not a big deal. We think they’re not a big deal until they aren’t. This isn’t cute. We are not amused.

What are you afraid of? We question your transparency. We question whether you are a truth teller, whether you can exercise good judgment, whether you lie like you say you don’t.

Just.Do.It. and be done.with.it.


Cult, I. Bernie’s movement relies on him, Bernie. He does not have an heir apparent. When he goes, well, flushed from memory comes to mind. I can almost hear Elton John “… it seemed to me, he lived his life like a candle in the wind.”

But this time, that wind is a fart.


Cult, II. My reminder on cults in general:

Men go crazy in congregation, they only get better one by one.

– Sting

Bernie heads a cult. Many Bernie enthusiasts are beside themselves with the belief that he is the only one that can do it [beat Trump in 2020]. And he is flattered. But this fawning will not last. He is not the only one.

This mess, and by mess I mean his congregants, will need to be cleaned up. And by cleaned up I mean converted. Converted from fierce dependence on one fierce independent to fierce confidence in the ability of the congregation to effect lasting, policy and change that is not based on the opinions, the opining, the personality of one individual.

And that conversion happens one. By one. By one.


Legacy. Bernie is old enough to know that to leave a legacy, he needs to take a seat, mentor someone, be a champion for someone other than Bernie.

And I hope he does, but I would not be surprised if his oversize ego — it must be — reduces him to a big ugly spoiler. He is the little bully who pisses in the sandbox so no one else can play and grows up to be the crazy uncle who blows out the candles with all that hot air.

Farts in the wind.

Help yourself to a seat Bernie. Lead from behind.


Extra credit: On Becoming Anti-Bernie by Robin Alperstein is a 30-40 minute read from 2016. (tl;dr?) I endorse everything stated. If Bernie is the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee, I will vote for him.

Meanwhile, the article chronicles the journey of “know Bernie” to “no Bernie,” and, whoa, it appears to be an evergreen document. Although written in 2016, I have seen no evidence that Mr. Sanders has changed. And in this time of rapid change, surely this article would seem out of date but it reads like yesterday or last week. We do not need politicians or a president who are enamored with their own movement.

In the end – pun intended, On Becoming Anti-Bernie, confirms my imagery of Bernie Sanders as the Uncle in the film Fanny & Alexander.


Footnote: If Joe Biden throws his hat into the 2020 DNC Presidential circus ring, we will encourage him to take a seat too.

PSA: Ballotpedia!

tl; dr?! Public Service Announcement: Ballotpedia is a resource for election information. Subscribe for e-mail notifications, bookmark, or save their home page. Be an educated citizen, mark your calendar, and VOTE!!!

(Photo of a photo of Debbie Reynolds in Life magazine, March 31, 1972 was included to increase visual appeal, garner interest. Dance like Debbie Reynolds when you vote. Really. )


Ballotpediathe “Encyclopedia of American Politics” was the sweet rabbit hole surprise in my Google search for information on the April 2, 2019, Wisconsin state election. Nuts and bolts of elections and candidates — the site is a treasure trove for voter education and civic participation. On the About page, they state their commitment to neutrality and expound in an article on why and how.

Sweet!

For information on anything election – past or present, parties, candidates, etc. — use the Ballotpedia web-page search function and have fun exploring your chosen rabbit hole, state, candidate, election, race, etc.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar. Educated, civic participation is exercised with your VOTE!!!


Vote like Debbie Reynolds dances in this photo from Life magazine, March 31, 1972. Gratuitous inclusion of a photo of a photo to make this post more interesting. A picture contains a thousand words, click-bait, and all that …

Footnote: tl;dw!: Too long; didn’t write. Much.

tl;dw! is my new shorthand to signal I’m not accumulating word count.

A poetry moment.

Some folks do not enjoy poetry. If that’s you, then take a big deep tl;dr!? breather.

And if you do, well, enjoy!

Or not.

A gift of poetry!

Upon Examining the Signature on a Signed Copy

The Rain in Portugal, signed by Billy Collins, a gift.
But in the ‘Billy Collins’ signature font
     his name could be ‘Bolly Cotton’
     only Bolly was too lazy to cross the ‘T’s.
Penmanship today being what it is and all.

Or maybe it says ‘Bully Collins,’
     the poetry bully.

And consider that Billy Collins, the grown man
     the slouchy professional,
     the comfortable academic,
     the poet laureate,
all of that,
answers to ‘Billy.’

Not “William” like royalty.
Not ‘Will’ like royalty on vacation.
Not ‘Liam’ like some Scottish chap having a pint.

No, ‘Billy,’
     a snot-nosed, bike riding 6-year-old tyrant of English
          which I’m sure he was.
                     – Viva E.


Disclaimer: I attended a Billy Collins reading in Madison, Wisconsin in the late 199x’s. I am a big fan and the above is poetic whimsy. I sincerely doubt Billy Collins was or has ever been a tyrant of English.

For your consideration, his signature:

Billy Collins

Or maybe it’s signed ‘Rolls Lolle’ …

Pockets! Who knew?

tl;dr? Poetry in the form of prose is found in the oddest places.

Although this post would seem to be about pockets, it is about expertise. Celebrate the trades and the arts which may seem simple but benefit from repetition, skill, and experience — in this post, I consider pockets.

“The less I know about what you do, the easier it is for you to do it.” – Anonymous

A hobby An obsession of mine is sewing. A dear relative tripped across and sent me the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Scranton, Pa.:Tailored Pockets booklet, Copyright, 1916, by INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY. Copyright in Great Britain. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.

And on opening the booklet, this piece of poetry in the form of prose is on the back of the front page, (my bold):

TO THE STUDENT:

When a garment is ready for its pocket, or pockets, it has arrived at the first door of destiny, for upon the success of the pockets depends the care and deliberate pains with which the remainder of the garment is completed.

There is a feeling of responsibility when a pocket is to be made — to the skilled worker a delightful responsibility, to the less sure, an anxious one. But the moment the stitched slash is cut and the edges turned, pride take the place of concern; and from that stage to the last, the work will be interesting and painstakingly done. So skill should be at one’s command at this vital moment. Pocket-making should be happily anticipated, and pockets, no matter how simple or elaborate, should be so perfectly done that they will always prove a genuine satisfaction.

-M.B.P. , Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Scranton, Pa.

Wow. The pocket has arrived at the first door of destiny, and we are responsible, and skill should be at one’s command at this vital pocket construction moment. And wait. What? But this is just a pocket. Yes, this is a pocket so lightweight but it is loaded with the gravitas of tailored construction. Who knew it weighed so much before it is even loaded with our marbles?

Tailored pocket sample provided with the instructional booklet for Tailored Pockets, Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Scranton, Pa. I presume this pocket was constructed by students of the institute as they practiced professional pocket construction.
I’m not going to load it with marbles. It is a thing of beauty.

A reminder that 1916 predated women’s suffrage (1920); a woman’s value was still vested in her home-making skills; WWI was underway. Over 100 years later, the attention to detail for construction of a pocket seems other-worldly. But today for this OCD sewing enthusiast, I celebrate the expertise and the painstaking construction and … the documentation!

Tailored pockets. Flap variations.

Should I need to recreate any of the above flap pockets or some patch pockets or welt pockets, I have the detailed instructions. All 37 pages. I just need to turn the page and step through that first door of pocket destiny.

For today, please consider your hobbies, activities, career, and or interests. Revel in that which causes time to stand still and “always proves a genuine satisfaction” upon completion for you.

Writing this blog is one of mine and I smile.

Finé.


Post-script: I’m dropping a couple more photos from the booklet. Hands-down I would flunk the exam laid out below.

Tailoring is serious business. Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, Scranton, Pa.: Tailored Pockets, Copyright, 1916.

Question (15): What determines the width of stitching on a pocket? Answer: Duh. Well, I do!

Which is likely the wrong answer. I haven’t read close enough to find the answer but then, I have never even ever questioned that something other than me determines the width of stitching when constructing pockets.

The Table of Contents itself is an illustration of “the less I know about what you do, the easier it is [for you to do it].”

Table of Contents, 37 pages of pocket construction. Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences: Tailored Pockets, Scranton, Pa. , Copyright 1916.

Happy Presidents Day & Prescedense Day!

Update: 4:30 PM. I published this post originally with an estimated cost of $3M/golf outing which was too high. I have removed this verbiage and associated math as I do not want to be the purveyor of bad information.

The Trump Golf Count website estimates the total cost to taxpayers currently as $88M.

And I stand by the comment that this is still the Driving for Dollars Administration.


Historically, this date is Presidents Day. So Happy Presidents Day!

For the current resident of the “most expensive unit of public housing”¹, this is Prescedense Day!

By my definition, Prescedense: an elected chief of state lacking intelligence or common sense whose subsequent actions lower the bar for the standard of comportment expected of the office of President of the United States (POTUS).

In light of the recent declaration of a state of emergency followed up by a weekend trip to Mar a Lago, we would like to honor the Trump Regime as the Driving for Dollars Administration.

“Driving for dollars” can be applied to various and sundry careers which warrant reimbursement for mileage gained in the course of doing a job. About $0.40/mile was the going rate when last I claimed mileage … oh well.

With this administration though, “driving” applies to golf. Since he began to warm his buttocks in the big chair, Prescedense Trump has taken ~159 golfing expeditions.

Or $88,000,000.

Driving for your dollars. In honor of past Presidents, let’s reclaim Presidents Day! Call your representatives and senators to either impeach or invoke the 25th Amendment on this the Driving For Dollars Administration:

202.224.3121 (general switchboard operator)

For reference, a short list of Prescedense tRump’s recent actions:

  • Attack of the free press on Twitter
  • Threat to national security especially in his use of Twitter
  • Refusal to divest of business interests while in office & violation of emoluments clause (see above, his business gains a % every time he drives)
  • Declaration of a “national emergency” for funding a wall
  • Destruction of established international relationships with allies
  • Agent provocateur of Putin/Russia
  • Habitual incessant lying

It’s a long list … enough of the Driving for Dollars Administration!


¹ New Hampshire Gazette commonly used description of the White House, Washington, D.C. Subscribe here if you haven’t.

Oh, baby! A postgame interview: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo plays basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks. Combining his Greek citizenship with amazing athletic prowess, he has the nickname the “Greek Freak.”

A few days ago, Giannis held a baby during the whole of a 3-minute postgame interview. Enjoy!

Or not.

Absolute sweetness. Hearts all the way around.

I needed this.


Post-script, I: Giannis is pronounced YAWN-nis.

Post-script, II: Yes, I am on a mini-blogging break until March 7, but this! This I had to share.