Friday, March 24, 2017

This would be much worse

if they were any good at enacting their evil schemes.  They're shaping up to be a pack of cartoon Batman villains.  In the true spirit of "It's Always Opposite Day in Trumpistan," I must say I really am enjoying so much winning!  I mean, they only had 7 or 8 (depending on where you start counting) years to come up with an alternative to the ACA. They had nothing. Let's think about this: the Republicans hold the WH, the House and the Senate. They bitched and moaned and held vote after vote for the last 7 years, wasting time and millions of dollars to repeal Obamacare.  Never could pull it off.

This was their shining moment, they have control of Congress and the White House, and they couldn't stir up enough support from their own people in the House.  SEVEN YEARS to put together a strategy, they waltzed in on a red carpet of support from the House through the Senate directly to 45's desk, and they couldn't get the votes from their own people! I hope Vlad kept his receipts, because he sure isn't getting his money's worth out of these assholes. 

We just have to keep on doing what we're doing. He must not be allowed to appoint a SC justice for a lifetime when the treason stench gets stronger and spreads wider every day. This is truly unprecedented, and we remain unpresidented.  We are still in danger, it will be crazy for a long time and nobody knows how it will end, but organized protests work.  Scaring the shit out of Congress (by showing up, expressing opinions, asking questions, and demanding that they do their jobs) is working. And remember, these are not brilliant strategists and organized evil. They are starting to turn on each other, and that's glorious!  They couldn't pass a health care bill with 8 years to prepare and while controlling both houses of Congress and the White House. Think about that, and raise a glass of wine to celebrate the incompetence of their evil.  Not that they won't keep chasing that dream, but today was a huge hit on their credibility and power.  Everything will be harder to do from now on.

I realized today that I need more time for knitting. I have two sweaters for myself I want to finish, not that I'll be wearing them until next Thanksgiving at the earliest. I have not been knitting enough. I think this weekend may be an ass-on-couch weekend.





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I'm still here....

And I'm not always immersed in politics.  I'm also obsessively waiting for a giraffe in Upstate New York to give birth, and on Saturday I took Delaney to the library.

Her household was getting a "new" (secondhand) sectional sofa.  Their living room furniture was beyond trashed thanks to years of hard use by humans and pets, and my son-in-law found a really nice looking large sectional for only $100 bucks.  God bless people who just decide to redecorate and let their perfectly nice former furniture go for cheap. 

Delaney is a smart and sensitive kid, and she got emotional about the idea of the furniture she knew going away. She actually cried when she was told they were getting new furniture. So I got a call on Friday evening that started with, "So, what are you doing tomorrow morning?"  I responded, "I'm guessing I'm watching your kid?"  "You're psychic!"

So Delaney came over while the furniture swap took place, and I made her favorite Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with orange icing for breakfast (I know, not very healthy, but it's a treat) and then we went to the library's Saturday morning kids' program and picked out some books. She made a beeline to the early reader section and picked out books.  She's reading quite a bit, not quite independently yet, but almost there. By the time she starts kindergarten  she'll be reading totally independently.  The Saturday program includes a read out loud session, where a very nice young librarian read out loud and showed the kids the pages, and Delaney announced "That says PLOP!" and that the mark at the end was an exclamation point.  Yeah.  She's learning phonics and punctuation on her own and is bored to death in Pre-K, but at least the year is nearly over.

So the furniture swap was made, and she was taken home to meet the new couch, and....she loved it! All's well that ends well there. 

On Sunday we saw Beauty and the Beast.  I went with my daughter and her BFF and HER daughters, the younger of whom is Delaney's BFF Zoe, and so there were three adults, one young teen, and two five year olds.  We had tickets for the 3:40 show at our bargain price nearby theater and couldn't get seats together, so my daughter called an audible. We talked to the very nice theater manager and swapped our tickets for the 6:30 show, they went back to her house to hang out, I went grocery shopping, then we regrouped at the theater (only 10 minutes from the house) and got there really early and got seats together.  

We all LOVED it. After we got home my daughter texted me and said she wants to see it again in 3D, and my immediate response was ME TOO!!!  Visually gorgeous, the CGI is exquisite, but it also has some bigtime Broadway musical moments, like the big dance scene in Gaston's tavern. It takes the classic parts of the animated version and adds some moments from the Broadway show, and it's just...stunning.  It fills in some backstory about why the Beast became such a beast, and what happened to Belle's mother, and it all makes more sense when you get those bits left out of the animated version.  It's a LONG movie, well over 2 hours, but Delaney didn't need any bathroom breaks. She and Zoe both sat riveted, no fidgeting or fooling around.

My daughter and I may still disagree over the casting of Emma Watson, but I think she was perfect. Belle was a Bluestocking before her time, smart and bookish and independent - turning down a hunky catch like Gaston without a second thought, when every other girl in town was throwing herself at him - and Emma Watson captured that perfectly, as well as her bravery and devotion to her father, and I think that came through better in this version than in the animated version.  Both have their charms and both will be classics.  If you do go see it, spring for the 3D glasses. The Be Our Guest song and their first dance would both be breathtaking.  I'm sorry we went cheap on Sunday, because now I MUST see that in 3D.



I Am Going to Say Something Positive about the Trump Administration:

It has expanded the vocabularies of many Americans, including me.  I have a very large, well-educated and non-F-Word vocabulary (hard as that may be to believe) and I was only introduced to the word kakistocracy since the installation of the puppet.  I'd honestly never encountered that one until now, but damn, it's perfect. And then there's a word I already knew: kleptocracy.

That's the reason for the installation. This is the looting of America.

This regime has brought many big vocabulary words into regular use in journalism! Not just the SAT words like kleptocracy, but the kind of college vocab words his fans don't know. Terms like "malignant narcissist" and "narcissistic sociopath" and of course the lesser terms like "collusion" and "nepotism" - as in the fact that this country is now being run like a third world dictatorship with a corrupt family in power. 

We are being governed by Trustafarians.  They were all born with money and power and went straight into the family business without ever going on a job interview at any time in their lives.  Ivanka Fucking Trump is going to have an office in the West Wing!  She "promises to abide by ethics rules." Did you see the look on Angela Merkel's face in those pictures with Ivanka by her side?  That entire state visit was another international humiliation.  World, we're sorry.  Most of us didn't vote for this.

And the people who created this shitshow got conned into believing that this game show host pathological liar who actually craps into a gold-plated toilet was going to help them?  Of course, he "won" with a great deal of help from his comrades, who I'm sure hold so much paper on him they have him by the (will not describe the 70 year old organ they have in a vise because nobody needs that mental picture). Seriously, every day I think we've hit the peak of crazy, it can't get weirder, and they manage to amaze. 

But again, the true fault here must be laid at the feet of the Republican Party, who made it all possible, and who are now, unbelievably, still defending it.  Let's just step back: All of the intelligence communities, foreign and domestic, are in agreement that Russia worked behind the scenes to influence the outcome of this election. And in Monday's hearings, what was the focus of the Republicans? "Who leaked? We must find and seal the leaks!"

And our Secretary of State is going to pass on meeting with NATO to go to Russia.  You cannot make this shit up; we are living in a bad 60s spy novel paperback.

And yes, I do blame the Democrats too, for still trying to "go high" and pretend that procedure will be effective when we have been dragged so very, very low.  If the parties in this scenario were reversed, the Republicans would be screaming to high heaven on every channel and media outlet 24/7 and grind the works of the government to a halt until they got a full and complete investigation.  They did it to Bill Clinton over a goddamn blowjob; we can't do this over actual TREASON? Yes, they are out of power, but they should be all over the media and getting before the American people and screaming about this at every possible moment, because this is America, going down, and we should all be screaming, and we must keep screaming.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Much of what I've been thinking

Is contained in

THIS.

I read this today and wanted to stand up and shout "AMEN!" and that's really weird because I was raised Catholic and we didn't ever do that - except for when we had a firebrand preacher-type priest in residence from Ireland, and he got a bunch of stodgy suburban mostly Republican types to stand up and cheer. (He wasn't there long and vanished without explanation, but I digress.)

It's what John Pavolvitz said, and so much more. The so much more is something I felt in my bones, and that is now being played out. The cabinet picks, people selected for their enmity for the departments they will head, the daily "tennis ball machine of bullshit" distraction stories, the sheer, incompetent, loony, disorganized batshit insanity of it all - the SoS isn't invited to the meeting with the Saudis, while his FUCKING SON-IN-LAW was - it's just exhaustingly crazy, 24/7.  Every goddamn day is another dozen "Wait, WTF?" stories, but we cannot take our eyes off the ball. The common thread is the Russian connection. That must not be allowed to fade away.

And I do admire the people who do this for a living and write about it for the rest of us, because seriously, I do step back. I want to write about it, but honestly, I'm still just in the "fuck everybody who made this possible" stage. Maybe someday I'll reach objective analysis, but I'm still in the mode of screaming "FUCK YOU!" at my garage door opener when it fails to open when I get home from work.

I am very functionally pissed-off, and I am crushing on my new smart young Congresswoman and want to meet her. So far, her local events have been while I was at work, but one of these days our schedules will work out. I reach out to her on Twitter and really feel good that she's new and outnumbered but totally in there swinging.  Her office returns phone messages almost immediately! She's all over the place doing good things for veterans and jobs and sponsoring bills to stop the madness, and I'm really proud of her.  I do wish I could have a glass of wine with her and ask her if she ever expected to be plunged into this level of madness before she got her bearings on the restroom locations in the building. She's already targeted as a "must be defeated" two years from now, so You Go Girl! Keep being awesome!

But goddamn, these Republicans are truly showing their true colors/allegiances, and it certainly isn't for their constituents/this country.

And yes, as John Pavlovitz said, I'm not the same. I had so much faith in the innate smarts and goodness of my country, and I'm realizing that I was still naive at 58 fucking years old. I was raised on stories of Good Old American Common Sense, and Fairness, and that we are a Melting Pot, and was truly shocked off everything that made me proud to realize that there's a whole lot of people who are either outright white supremacists or just cool with it.

I am a big fan of Bill Bryson (up until his last book about revisiting England, which was very Cranky Old Fart IMO), and I always remembered the simple formula for assimilation of immigrants he summarized in one of his books. Paraphrased: The first generation speaks their native language and very little/poor English, and live in enclaves where they can get around and do business. The second generation is fully bilingual and has ventured outside the enclaves. The third generation speaks barely enough of their native language to talk to their grandparents. (And that's a shame, but it's been true for everyone I've known.) Assimilation to the culture doesn't happen in two weeks, and shouldn't, and we as the great melting pot have always been proud and knew we were enriched by the process.

I truly thought that we were all raised to believe in the Melting Pot,  that this was a foundational belief of our country, and then a fucking US Congresscritter spouts flat-out white supremacist rhetoric about needing more white babies because white European culture is superior and it's called "controversial" in much of the media, instead of "white supremacist rhetoric." I mean, that guy has always been an ignorant asshole, but he keeps getting re-elected, so that says a lot about where he came from. Nothing is off limits now, the things he used to say privately are now acceptable in his party, and he is free to let his racist flag fly.  It's ugly, it's all ugly.  So I'm sometimes yelling at my garage door opener, because I really thought we were better than THIS.

As a counterpoint to the ugly: I have been waking up at 5:15 to do a half hour of yoga, more or less, every morning for the last 15 days. I'm doing the 31 day Revolution again, because I think I dropped  out last time around Day 12, with only half-assed attempts to get back on track.  I have vowed to myself that I wouldn't do my usual, "I'll skip today and do two tomorrow!" Which somehow never works out and leads to three days, then a week, of missed sessions.  And I am doing this. I absolutely believe that a half hour every day is enough; at least it is for me.  Some days I struggle. Today was hard, a lot of balance poses and my balance wasn't there for me, but I did my best. And I'm sorry, my screwed up knees can't hold a deep squat for love nor money, so when there's a long squat I just do what I can seated on my ass until we come up into down dog.  I love the emphasis on the breath, because I know that's really where it's at, and I've taken so many classes that didn't pace with breathing, the way Adriene does.  So while I may be months away from Crow Pose I'm doing around 90%, and I'll take it. 

I've also been reading some great Kindle Unlimited finds, and I'll get around to sharing them, I swear.

Onward into the Crazy!






Wednesday, March 08, 2017

So, then...the wheels are off.

Seriously, the "president" appears to have lost whatever smidgen of shit he ever had, and his team is flailing, and this is all really, really bad. Now is the time for the majority in Congress to rise up and fix this, and...I won't hold my breath. They'll go along with this until they break unions, end any hope of civilized health care, and destroy environmental regulations and demonize immigrants and gays, and of course deregulate banks so they can loot the economy. After all that's in place, they'll admit their useful idiot wasn't useful and is just an idiot, and replace him with Pence, who is creepy as hell but less likely to blow up the world. This isn't just about Trump and the Russians. There's a whole layer of Republican leadership that needs to go down with him, but good luck with that.  At this point that whole succession of power thing is a mess, and some random under-secretary of something is probably the only non-tainted person in the line, and that position is probably still vacant.

And like their ranting leader, the Trumpkins aren't doing very well. I have one I encounter up close and personal - I won't share the details of her story, even though if you stood in line at Walmart with her you'd hear a lot, because she shares it freely - and the other day it got a bit weird.

A third party, a very religious and very sweet woman, suddenly brought up the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, something she feels very strongly about. The Trumpkin responded that "President Trump will fix this! He's going to stop it!"  I normally keep my mouth shut because I don't beat my head against these walls, but I just couldn't stand it.

"'President' Trump has to be forced to say anything on this topic, and then it's always a mealy-mouthed, "It's wrong, very wrong...." response. He's doing nothing."

"He'll fix it, give him time!"

"No, he's not responding on this! He has time to sign all sorts of executive orders (I carefully avoided an opinion on the substance of those orders) and pick fights with SNL on Twitter, but the threats on Jewish community centers and cemetery desecrations aren't being addressed. He's not going to fix it."  

And she physically reacted, leaping up and coming at me: "He's only been president for a MONTH!" Give him TIME!" and the third person present stepped in and reached out to her to calm her down. She did calm down, and I'm not saying this was a dramatic "I was in danger of being assaulted!" situation at all.  It was just the visceral reaction of a trapped animal.  This poor Trumpkin is coming to grips with reality of her choice, and she's not happy on any level.  She's not sleeping and she's frequently on the verge of tears, but she can't quite bring herself to believe that Fox and Friends has been filling her head with bullshit for years, because her entire identity is wrapped up in being Republican. I would have more compassion if she and her kind didn't manage to drag us all down this sewer too.  A minority of the population, aided by a shitload of free media coverage, a network devoted to spewing bullshit, right-wing radio hosts to listen to on the drive to work, and a truly embarrassing lack of intellectual curiosity, got us to this insane low.

The Republicans revealed their long-awaited "repeal and replace" of the ACA, and after only SEVEN YEARS of bitching about Obamacare and boasting that they could do MUCH better, just wait and see, they whipped up a pile of crap behind closed doors and want to shove it through without financial oversight from the Congressional Budget Office.  This is simply fucking insane, on every level. If they thought their constituents were pissed BEFORE this bullshit, they ain't seen nothin' yet. 

And then, there's the Russian shit, which is getting deeper and deeper, and holy crap. I've thought many times about posts on this meltdown of our government, but every day it gets more and more batshit crazy.   I look back to my earlier posts about our possible future that now look overly optimistic.  And yes, I'm still angry, and getting angrier every day.