I’m all in

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!

TGIF

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.

January 6th, another “day that will live in infamy”

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.

2021 rocks!

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.

Week 1 preview

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?

A good start

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.

New Year’s Day in Socal

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.

Nineteen more days

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.

Favorites of 2020

It’s the final day of 2020 – that alone is cause for some happiness. It’s a time to reflect back on the year and then consider the year ahead.

Favorite picture of the year: That’s a tough call. I took some good pictures in 2020 – not enough, but some good ones. So I’ll pick several. The first one is from January 4th, 2020. I like it because (a) it’s my brothers, and (b) it was weirdly prophetic. The masks have nothing to do with the pandemic – in January 2020 we’d never heard the word COVID. We wore the N95 masks while we were cleaning out Dad and Phyllis’ garage, full of some nasty dust and stuff. We had no idea that those masks would become de rigeur only a couple of months ahead. Very weird coincidence.

My next favorite picture of 2020 was taken in Cabo in February. I’m including it just because it’s a damn fine picture – I love the lighting.

My final favorite picture of the year has to be this one. It captures one of my favorite moments of the year, meeting Jesse.

Favorite song of the year: Texas Sun, by Khraungbin and Leon Bridges. That song kept me driving happily during the first pandemic cross-country trip. (Now that I think about it, my favorite song of 2020 is pretty much anything by Khraungbin. Though Texas Sun was my first.)

Favorite books of the year: The Expanse, books 1-6 (still have 7 and 8 to look forward to). According to Goodreads I read 84 books in 2020, totaling 28,738 pages. Yikes!

Favorite TV show of 2020: a tie between Yellowstone season 3 and The Expanse, all seasons. I’ve been binge-watching The Expanse seasons 1-4, saving the new season 5 for some down time in 2021.

Best meal of 2020: Has to be the luxe 11-course meal K and I shared at Manta in Cabo. Every course was superb. I wrote about it here, back in February.

Favorite moments of the year: A tie between (a) waking up not-dead after surgery, and (b) meeting and holding grandson Jesse for the first time.

Least favorite moment of the year: Seeing the George Floyd murder pictures/video for the first time. A stark reminder that man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds. Call this a tie with the night of the election when it appeared that Trump might have won a second term.

Good question

Dave Winer over at Scripting News asks a very pertinent question:

“Why are we paying taxes to the US Treasury when the government won’t protect us from a deadly virus? Why are we funding a military when we can’t get vaccine into the arms of Americans? This is a war where, if we chose to fight it, we could win in 3 weeks. What’s the purpose of such an expensive military beyond protecting Americans?”

Why indeed? Our government lost its way a long time ago. It doesn’t serve the people’s needs, it serves itself.