Today is day 23,560 for yours truly. Funny, I don’t feel a day over 20K.
I’d like to find something normal, something mundane to write about. But my mind keeps going back to the three simultaneous crises we find ourselves in, here in early January 2021.
- The pandemic. 22 million US cases now and accelerating. Approaching 400K US citizens dead.
- The economic disaster brought on by the pandemic. Tens of thousands of businesses bankrupt, millions of individuals nearly so.
- The (wretched) state of US democracy. Half the country hates the other half, and quite a few are ready to turn that hate into civil war (see this week for an example). Congress is dysfunctional.
Any one of these crises would be enough to mark this time as significant in our personal lives and national history. But together, they’re…overwhelming. How do we extricate ourselves from this deep, deep hole?
Poor Joe Biden is inheriting the worst situation since Lincoln in the 1850s or Roosevelt in the 1930s. Post Civil War reconstruction was tough, but you can argue that this is tougher. I hope Biden is up to the task – he’s not exactly in the prime of his life. This makes every choice he has for leadership slots crucial – Cabinet Secretaries, White House staffers, task force leaders, etc. – every person is going to have to be superb at their job if we are to fix things. Or at least improve them.
Other than put the hate on hold, it’s hard to see what ordinary people can do to help. With the pandemic, the plea to mask up and stay distanced just hasn’t worked. And we may be past a point of no return anyway.
And for this ordinary person, I would enjoy being part of Biden’s team, developing strategies to address these three entwined problems. It’s the challenge of a lifetime, making the Manhattan Project or Apollo Project look like child’s play in comparison. Worth some thought.
I’ve been kind of “who cares?” with regard to the call to impeach Trump again in the final days of his
Presidency cult leadership. Eleven days left; we have big problems to solve, so let’s allow the Asshat-in-Chief to slither away. But I just read something that changed my mind.
Turns out that if he is impeached AND convicted, he’ll lose all those juicy perks granted to ex-Presidents, including pension, paid healthcare, office allowances and Secret Service protection for life. That would be awesome – I would be very happy to know that my tax dollars are not being spent protecting this bag-of-shit-masquerading-as-a-human and aren’t going to be spent housing Secret Service members forever in Trump properties. So count me in…impeach!
Happy Friday, or at least relatively sane Friday. What a week!
The fallout from Wednesday’s MAGA mob attack on the Capital continues, and it appears that Trump has finally committed acts for which he will not be forgiven. Forgiven or not, he’ll be flushed down the toilet in 12 days.
His fascist army is also slowly being tracked down and in many cases, arrested. They gave the FBI and law enforcement in general plenty of evidence to work with, from phone locations to social media posts and pictures of themselves committing crimes, and in some cases DNA evidence – a few of them desecrated by defecation inside the building. Nice folks, those.
My favorite MAGA footsoldier story has to be the guy who accidentally tasered himself in the balls, repeatedly, until he had a heart attack and died. He was apparently trying to wrestle a portrait of Tip O’Neil off the wall and got tangled up with his own taser. He was a hard-core, gun-obsessed Trumpist. I feel bad for his family, but in my book he’s just a sad Darwin Award finalist.
I said it before, the real New Year doesn’t begin until January 20th. Hang on tight until then.
OK, wow. Yesterday turned out to be a disastrous, historic day. In my life I’ve lived through some historic days (Nixon’s resignation, the Space Shuttle explosions, the first Moon landing (!), 911, the Kennedy assassination, the ongoing pandemic, etc.), but no single day as consequential as yesterday. It’s a weird feeling knowing that you’re watching history change in real time.
I’ll get to the democracy crisis. But first, yesterday was also consequential on the pandemic front. The US registered its all-time largest daily new cases (260,000) and daily deaths (4100). The numbers are staggering. We have the equivalent of all the deaths due to 2001’s 911 every day now, and we have for weeks. 360,000 dead US citizens so far, and no end in sight. I think most Americans are numbed to the numbers – we will only realize the full impact later, years from now when we can get some perspective.
And yesterday the Confederate flag flew in the Capitol building. The President incited violence, encouraged a mob to attack government buildings and their employees, guns were fired and four people died. The President even encouraged the mob via a Twitter video as they were ransacking the Capitol. The White House attorney advised staffers to stay away from the President lest they be included in charges for treason.
Clearly, POTUS 45 has committed treason and should be removed immediately via the 25th Amendment. If we had a functional Cabinet and Congress, that would be the expected result. But we don’t, so we have to allow a dangerous madman to occupy the most powerful office in the world for another two weeks. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.
There are silver linings, things to be thankful for. And indications that “this too shall pass”. But you can’t ignore the horrific nature of these twin crises. The worst events in my lifetime, happening in parallel right now.
This grinning idiot should be arrested as soon as he’s identified.
OK, I’m liking this whole 2021 thing. Another UK basketball win last night, and this time a pretty solid game. And this morning, the news that Warnock has won his GA Senate race and Ossoff is likely to win. That’s…amazing. To think that we’ll get to wave goodbye to both Trump AND McConnell simultaneously – and to wave goodbye to all their Cabinet and appointee cronies. Much better than expected, better than hoped. Just amazing.
I hope I don’t jinx Ossoff by celebrating a little too early.
Update, 430pm. Well, I may have to backtrack on that whole “2021 rocks” thing. I left for an afternoon to play golf and the whole world caught fire. The scenes from DC are horrific. While I’m happy that the GA Senate races turned out well, this insurrection/coup that took place in DC, egged on by the soon-to-be-ex President, is at least as bad as the Vietnam era riots of the late 60s. Trump seems to have succeeded in breaking democracy. Jan 20th can’t come soon enough.
First week of 2021, and right out of the gate, we’ve got a big week ahead.
First, the GA Senatorial elections. It’s a toss-up, so one can only hope that the Dems prevail and we can wave goodbye to obstructionist Moscow Mitch. Sure would make Biden’s job easier. I give us about a 25% chance of coming away with the two seats needed.
The very next day, we’ve got Pence presiding over that same Senate to confirm the Electoral College results. I expect some grandstanding, but I don’t expect Pence to throw himself under the bus for Trump. We’ll see.
I also expect that the fallout from the leaked Trump election tampering call will continue this week. It’s extreme, even for Trump. Any other politician in history, that phone call would be an instant “you’re fired, career is over” event. But Trump is a nuclear cockroach – he seems to be able to survive anything. Just our luck.
On top of all that we’ve got UK’s second SEC game tonight against Vandy, in which we will see if the breakout game over the weekend was an anomaly or truly a breakout. Will we fall back into mediocrity, or will we start playing like a KY team?
Well, well, well. It seems that 2021 might be different after all. The KY Wildcats basketball team narrowly avoided a 1-7 start and won a game against Mississippi State in a double OT thriller. For the first time this season they were fun to watch. They were headed for exactly the same underachieving outcome as their previous six games when coach Calipari pulled a desperation move, getting himself intentionally ejected with two technical fouls. That wily coach move has been known to motivate a team in college hoops, and this time it sure did.
Add to that a UK win in the Gator Bowl and it was a pretty good January 2nd. Now if someone in the cursed Trump administration could just figure out how to accelerate vaccine distribution (maybe employ the military?), 2021 could be off to a great start. If not, we wait another 17 days for the adults to show up and try to fix things.
We took a quick trip to the top of Mt. Palomar today hoping to see some snow. Turns out we had the same idea as a whole lot of other folks. The picture below shows the road up the hill at about 5000 feet elevation. Nice sharp photo, given that it was an iPhone held out of a slowly moving vehicle. The temperature up there today was about 48 degrees, as opposed to 70 degrees at sea level.
We saw a lot of San Diegans enjoying a rare touch of snow. This next shot shows some hard-core cyclists and the observatory.
We also saw a big hawk catch something for lunch and sit atop a pole to enjoy shredding it – maybe a mouse or a mole. Only when I got home and processed the picture did I realize I had caught two hawks in the same frame. Taken with the Fuji 50-230 zoom at f/8.
All in all, a nice little NY Day outing for Kathryn and me.
While I’m posting pictures, here’s one of the sunset we had on Dec 27. No color enhancement at all, just cropped. Not bad.
Happy New Year…sort of. While I’m pleased to put calendar 2020 behind us, in my mind the New Year won’t start until January 20th. That’s the day that the Trump Crime Family (TCF) gets kicked to the curb and we can start repairing the damage of the last four years. No more taxpayer-funded Air Force One, no more Camp David, no more White House complete with staff and servants – the TCF will finally have to pay for their royal, corrupt lifestyle. We may never completely recover from Trump’s assault on democracy, but we can start the repair process. Let the MAGAs donate and pay for the TCF’s excess – not my tax dollars.