Category: Humor and Weird Wilson-isms Page 1 of 11
“Obama’s Odyssey” (Vol. 2) (Convention to Inauguration) with 61 photographs from the field that have appeared nowhere else will be ON SALE in honor of Presidents’ Day, February 18th. The sale will commence on Feb. 17 (e-book) and continue through Feb. 18 for the paperback version. Both books are significantly reduced in price, from 66 and 2/3% for the paperback to -40% for the e-book. Prices will return to normal on Feb. 19th, as I return to my Texas lair and try to stop shaking my head at the comments being made in Munich, Germany and elsewhere by members of the current administration.
The e-book version of “Obama’s Odyssey” (Vol. 2) will be on sale ONLY February 17th for $1.99. (Normally, it is $3 more). The paperback will be on sale for TWO DAYS, February 17 and February 18 for a 2/3 reduction, from $14.99 (normal price) to $4.95.
This is me, missing President Obama while dealing with the rambling, incoherent announcement yesterday from the current occupant of the White House regarding his “national emergency.” (The “pronouncement” was so rambling and unfocused and unintelligible that CBS cut away from the unfocused rambling after 25 minutes.)
I’m here in Texas (Austin). While most Texas representatives have fallen in line behind DJT, here is the pronouncement from our representative Chip Roy (R) who said (and I quote): “With this authoritarian power grab, Trump would divert resources from real security challenges elsewhere to his politically-contrived, on-crisis on the Rio Grande. I am a sponsor of a privileged resolution to stop him. If his routine Republican enablers refuse to join us in standing up for the Constitution, we will promptly seek judicial relief. What we clearly don’t need is a multi-billion dollar waste in pursuit of his anti-immigrant hysteria.”
|16th Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation|
Former Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe of the FBI, regarding a “Sixty Minutes” interview to be aired on February 17th: “I wrote memos about my interactions with President Trump for the same reason that Comey did: to have contemporaneous records of talks with a person who cannot be trusted.”
McCabe called for an obstruction of justice investigation in advance of Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. The violation of the president’s oath of office and his abuse of power, was under discussion by CNN talking heads at noon on Valentine’s Day. The concern level regarding Trump’s loyalty to the nation amongst career FBI officials was so high that they were discussing which Cabinet members might support a movement to remove the president from office using the 25th amendment, says McCabe. Legal experts within the department were approached more than once.
WEARING A WIRE
The fact that Rod Rosenstein was approached to wear a wire in conversations with the President is confirmed by Andrew McCabe. Andrew McCabe says he did not consider Rosenstein’s proposal “joking around.” The top intelligence officials of the United States government, with resources above and beyond the average citizen, saw enough evidence of potential collusion with the Russians and enough wrongdoing on Trump’s part during the election that the very top officials (McCabe, Comey) were trying to right the ship of state and sound the alarm early in the game. (* Paul Revere:”One if by land and two if by sea moment…”)
NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR
The Mueller Investigation is nearing completion, but, with the confirmation of William Barr (which seems to be a foregone conclusion and is happening now in the halls of the Congress and Senate), will Barr attempt to hush up the Mueller findings to “protect” the president? Barr’s pre-hearing writings indicate that he would not move against a sitting president; it is clear that this is Barr’s chief virtue in Trump’s mind for selecting him, following temporary Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker.
|Acting United States Attorney General|
November 7, 2018 – February 14, 2019
(Wikipedia image of Matthew Whittaker)
ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL MATTHEW WHITTAKER
Whittaker was unqualified for the job and turned out to be a very uncooperative Senate testifier during recent hearings (with only 6 days remaining in his temporary term). Like so many Trump appointees, Whittaker got the job temporarily not because of what he knew, but because of who he knew. In this case, Whittaker was previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ sidekick, but had, himself, been accused of defrauding veterans while involved with an Iowa concern and served only a few years in the southern district of Iowa in a position that would even remotely qualify him for the top judicial spot in the nation. [But nevermind about calamitous Cabinet appointees or we will have to discuss Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education and the policy of poor picks will take over this piece.]
FROM TED DEUTCH of the JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
“What we ought to really focus on is that there enough concern about the president’s actions and behavior that this even came up. We knew that the Republicans saw their role as defending the president above anything, above their duty to defend the Constitution. Now we know what they were defending from.”
The statement above from Representative Ted Deutch of the Judiciary Committee also included the response that he didn’t know that Bill Barr, (who appears to be headed towards confirmation as Attorney General), is now bringing his son-in-law along with him to the Attorney General’s office. Said Deutch: “I didn’t know it was a two-fer.”
Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI who was fired just days before his retirement, said, in the interview that will be aired on Sunday, February 17th, that the idea that Rod Rosenstein should perhaps wear a wire to talk to Trump was NOT “sarcasm,” (although some have dismissed it as such.) He said that the concern was high enough that legal experts were approached on more than one occasion about steps that should be taken; legal sources were consulted on more than one occasion.
McCabe was ultimately fired from the FBI, days before his retirement eligibility. His offense was that he leaked to the press and then denied it under oath. The consensus amongst the three-member panel discussing the upcoming “60 Minutes” interview was that Andrew McCabe’s impeccable record as a public servant over decades offset the minor offense used to remove him from the FBI and that McCabe’s warnings should be taken seriously. McCabe quote: “I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia probe on absolutely solid ground that were I removed the case could not vanish in the night, that if I were removed there would be a documentary record that those investigations had begun.” “Sixty Minutes interviewer recaps: “Because you feared that the investigation would be made to go away?” McCabe’s response: “That’s right.”
Will the Trump supporters, (one of whom told me yesterday that he would “ride the Trump Train to hell,”) consider the implications of the former head of the FBI saying how concerned they were (and are) that Trump was (and is) a traitor and change their minds? [*Is there no amount of evidence that will convince them that the man has conned his way into the White House? Have they drunk not just a glass of Jim Jones’ Kool Ade, but the entire pitcher?]
The Trump people will try to discredit this public servant. He is selling a book now. He was mistreated, first, by being fired just days shy of his pension eligibility. Naysayers will see dumping on McCabe as an attempt to stifle the free press, (since McCabe was accused of leaking to journalists). [James Comey has experienced how a person who lies 8,500 times in his first 2 years in office then points to truthful others and claims THEY are the liars; it’s the old “The best defense is a strong offense.”] Will Trump’s base accept this judgment from the top? [*I rode the Edwards Express until his true colors showed. Why can’t Trump supporters do the necessary analysis to see that their own trust has been misplaced? Learn to admit it when you are wrong and move on.]
James Gagliano, a retired FBI Supervisory Agent, said, in regards to McCabe (whom he knows personally to be an honorable public servant) that not telling the truth about leaking to the press under oath was incorrect, but that the FBI is supposed to defend the United States against foreign interference including situations where a fictional “Manchurian Candidate” becomes fact.
Gagliano says that there may have been panic on the 7th floor of the FBI headquarters (I’ve been there, by the way). Career justice department people panicked at the very thought of Donald J. Trump with the power of the presidency. “You have to be the calm in the chaos,” says Gagliano. He questioned whether McCabe was being calm amidst the chaos. The talking heads say that McCabe saw a five-alarm fire where the President of the United States was involved with Russians in an inappropriate way. (The five-alarm fire may have just escalated to a six or seven-alarm fire).
IN OTHER BREAKING NEWS
1) Paul Mananfort is declared to have lied while supposedly cooperating with the Mueller investigation. (“You’re burnt!”)
2) Dianne Feinstein says Joe Biden is going to for President.
3) Trump is leaving everyone hanging on whether he will sign the funding bill to avert a shutdown. The news from that front goes back and forth. Fox News host Laura Ingraham is dictating Trump’s actions, as per usual, by suggesting that he NOT sign the compromise bill that others have worked on for weeks.
Representative Adam Schiff, who is heading up the investigative committee on Trump in Congress, appeared on Chuck Todd’s “Meet the Press” on February 3rd. I copied down his remarks (as best I could) because he is always articulate and it is such a nice change from the chaotic, incomprehensible utterings emanating from the Oval Office.
Here is what Adam Schiff said, condensed slightly:
“Our priority is to make sure the President of the United States is working in the national interest…We’re not interested in whether he’s a tax cheat as he said he is. We’re not interested in whether he is worth more millions or fewer millions. We’re interested in whether the President is compromising our national security and a perfect example is Trump Tower (Moscow).
Adam Schiff on Twitter
While he was telling the American people that he had no business interests in Russia, he was pursuing perhaps the most lucrative deal of his career and that’s important because it means the President of the United States is looking out for his bank account and not for the United States of America…I find it just remarkable that the President of the United States or the presumptive nominee of the Republican party could be pursuing business with the Kremlin and lying about it to the American people…We have a responsibility to tell the country what happened.
What we have seen from (Attorney General nominee) Bill Barr’s testimony is that there is to be no leadership to find out and tell the American public, so we will have to find out ourselves…
When the President said that there is”no collusion,” he means that Bob Mueller has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he is not guilty of colluding with the Russians. When Michael Cohen was meeting with the Russians, that was a form of collusion. When Trump Junior was meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower to try to get dirt on Hillary Rpdham Clinton, that was a form of collusion. When the president himself in his business is trying to make money from the Russians and promising a new relationship with Russia, promising relief from sanctions, that’s a form of collusion.
Ultimately, it will be up to Bob Mueller to determine if that is a crime. Our job is to find the facts and make them public, whichever way they cut. The people closest to the President (Steve Bannon) have said that there is zero chance that other people would make a decision without talking to the President.”
“Obama’s Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House” (Vol. I) was put on sale a while ago. The response was so overwhelming (from heartsick Democrats?) that the long Presidents’ Day weekend seems the perfect time to offer Volume II of “Obama’s Odyssey” for sale.
“Obama’s Odyssey: Convention to Inauguration,” Volume II, contains 61 previously unseen photographs. In 2008 I followed all candidates during the Iowa caucuses; the caucus season gave way to the nationwide campaign and led to 23 months spent following the Democratic and Republican candidates across the country. With over 1,000 blog entries from the field that garnered over 3 million hits, I was named Yahoo Content Producer of the Year for Politics (2008).
I still remember the phone call that came from Yahoo editors in Colorado asking me if I’d come to Denver and report on the DNC. “Your pieces predicting that Obama would carry the Iowa caucuses caught our eye. You set off a lot of controversy. We’d like you to come to Colorado and cover the Democratic National Convention. We can get you inside.”
My response? “Heck! I’d pay you guys for that, but you’ll have to find me somewhere to stay that doesn’t cost me $500 a night.”
They did, and I did. The two volumes of “Obama’s Odyssey” are the result of those long days spent attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver at the Pepsi Center, the Republican National Convention at the Excel Center in St. Paul (MN), the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis at the Target Center, the Belmont Town Hall meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, and uncounted caucus rallies in the state of Iowa.
And so, once again, in the spirit of longing for the days of civility, intelligence and decorum represented by the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, I’ve lowered the price on the e-book version of Volume II to $1.99 for ONE DAY ONLY, February 17, 2019. ($3 off the normal e-book price).
If you prefer the paperback version of “Obama’s Odyssey,” it will be reduced from $14.99 to $4.95 on the same day, a reduction of $10 off the $14.95 regular price. It will be on sale on February 17th (Sunday) AND the following day (Feb. 18th),Presidents’ Day.
On Monday, February 18th, PRESIDENTS’ DAY, only the paperback version of “Obama’s Odyssey” will be on sale. It will remain reduced in price to $4.95, which is 2/3 off its normal price. [Put aside $1 daily starting today (5 days out) and you’ll have the price of the paperback on Amazon.]
This is a ONE-TIME ONLY sale price.
If you miss Barack Obama and long for a return to those 8 years of his presidency, this is the book for you! And PLEASE leave a review of both books on Amazon. Writers in today’s marketplace have no chance without reviews. That, my friends, is up to you. If you don’t want to write anything, simply click on the stars, but please take the time to simply click on the Amazon stars for either or both volumes of “Obama’s Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House.”
Amy Klobuchar, (D, MN) Senator
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced that she is running for President today in a snowy appearance from Minneapolis, where it was 16 degrees. She is among the other female candidates (5 others by last count) who have thrown down the gauntlet, but she is the first one to announce while hatless, in a blizzard. By the end of her announcement today, snow had accumulated on Ms. Klobuchar’s nose; she looked fairly well frozen, as did about 100 hardy supporters clutching signs and occasionally chanting “Amy!”
Here were some of the themes that Klobuchar hit during her announcement:
Alluding to the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, she said, “A bridge just shouldn’t fall down in the middle of America, but it happened. In that day, America saw in a very visceral way that everyone matters—everyone.” Klobuchar went on to praise the heroism of a man who gave up his own life to insure that a school bus full of children did not plunge into the abyss and also praised the heroics of divers who took part in the rescue and recovery mission. She went on: “Later, we worked across the aisle to fund that I35 bridge. That’s community. That’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
She continued, “But that vision is wearing down, worn down by the petty nature of our politics. We are tired of the gridlocks and the grandstanding. Today, on this snowy day, we say enough is enough! Our nation must be governed not through chaos but through opportunity.”
A crash course in Amy’s biography came next, with the information that her parents “arrived in this country with just a suitcase. They arrived with nothing. It was cold—Okay, maybe not as cold as this.” (Biggest laugh line). Klobuchar said that her 90-year-old father was present this day and that he had gotten a 2-year degree after arriving in Minnesota, followed by a degree from the University of Minnesota in Journalism, after which he worked for the Associated Press. She described her father as having interviewed everyone from presidents to Ginger Rogers.” Her mother, “a proud union member, taught second grade until age 70.”
“I am running for this job for every person who wants their job recognized and rewarded, for every parent that wants a better world for their kids, for every student who wants to be able to afford a good education, for every senior who wants affordable drugs. I am running for every American. I am running for you. And I promise you this: as your president I will look you in the eye, I will tell you what I think, I will focus on getting things done and, no matter what, I’ll lead from the heart.”
At this point, there were numerous chants of “Amy!” from the chilled spectators.
“Let me be blunt: for too long, leaders in Washington have sat on the sidelines.” She went on to cite the inactivity on climate change and the tumult in our world. “Did we view snow as an obstacle? No, we did not. Let’s see those problems as obstacles in our path. Insidious forces trying to make it harder to vote mean it is time to organize. It is time to galvanize. It is time to take back our democracy. We must overturn Citizens United and get the dark money out of our politics. We must restore the voting rights act. It is time to pass my bill to automatically register every young person to vote when they turn eighteen.”
Klobachur acknowledged that there were obstacles, but said, “That is also our patch. They are how we organize.”
On climate change, Klobachur said, “The people are on our side when it comes to climate change. Why? Because, like you and I, they believe in science. That’s why, in the first 100 days of my administration, I will restore the gas mileage standards and put in sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure. On Day One we will rejoin the International Climate Agreement (Paris Accord).”
Moving on to the subject of computer literacy, Klobuchar said, “Way too many politicians have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the digital revolution. If you don’t know the difference between a hack and a slack, it’s time to pull off the digital highway. We need to put some digital rules of the road into law when it comes to people’s privacy. For too long the big tech companies have been telling us, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got your back,’ when they have been mining your data.” She promised to guarantee net neutrality. I promise to connect every household to the Internet by 2022. And that means you, rural America. We need to train our workers today for the jobs of tomorrow and strengthen our economy by planning ahead. Making it easier for people to get 2 year degrees is part of that plan. Comprehensive immigration reform is part of that plan. It is time, America.”
Klobuchar moved on to medical questions with the story of a young Minneapolis man who was forced by the high cost of the drug to ration his insulin and, as a result, died.
“We’re going to harness the negotiating power of 43 million seniors and lift the ban on negotiating cheaper prices for prescription drugs. They (big pharma) don’t own me.”
“I will continue to advocate for criminal justice reform. In a state where we still enjoy hunting, universal background checks and common sense gun legislation will be voted into law. It is time, America.”
“A safer world isn’t judged by what we do here at home. Even if we want to isolate ourselves, the rest of the world won’t let you. We need to stand strong and consistently with our allies. We need to be clear in our purpose. We must respect our front line troops, diplomats, and intelligence officers, who are there every day risking their lives for us. They deserve better than foreign policy by tweet!”
Summing up, Klobuchar urged those who support her to text 91990 to AmyKlobuchar.com and added, “Stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. We may come from different places, but we all live in the same country of shared dreams. In Minnesota we have the biggest Somalian population in the country, and we are proud of that country.” She proceeded to tell a story about a man who told a family of 4 to “go home,” causing their small daughter to protest that her mother had said they could eat out that night. “That little girl only knows one home, and that is the United States of America.”
E PLURIBUS UNUM
Klobuchar quoted Walt Whitman: “Walt Whitman once wrote, ‘I hear America singing the very carols I hear.’ For Whitman those were the songs of the masons, carpenters, the shoemakers, and those carols are still being sung today. A chorus of different colors and creeds. E Pluribus Unum: Out of one, many. It is the North Star of our effort, of our democracy. It’s time to take back our democracy. I am asking you to join our campaign. I don’t know if you can even see our number because of the snow. I don’t have a political machine. I don’t come from money. But what I do have is grit. I have family, friends, neighbors, and all of you who are willing to come out in the middle of winter, all of you who are willing to stand up and say, ‘People matter!’ I’m asking you to look up and to look at each other and to look at the future before us. Let us rise to the occasion and meet the changes of our day. Let us cross the river of our divides and walk across the bridge to the sturdy land of higher ground. To pursue the good, we must believe that good will prevail, so let’s join together as one nation to pursue the good.”
Thank you, and God bless America!
Today’s good news is that the Hyatt (Manhattan) in New York City attached to Grand Central Station (Hyatt Grand Central) that Donald Trump bought when it was the Commodore and revamped is being bought and torn down. Yay!
This has to be one of the worst Hyatts, (if not one of the worst hotels in general), that I’ve ever had the misfortune to stay in, not once but at least three times at International Thriller Writers’ Conferences.
Let me elaborate:
The first time I stayed at this Hyatt I could not figure out how to turn the lights off in my room. The rooms don’t have normal light switches. They have strange little electrical plates that don’t work. The men sent up by the desk couldn’t get them to work, either. I ended up having to put a pillow over my head and trying to sleep with the lights on for three days.
David Morrell, an ITW staple.
Secondly, I like bath tubs. I was on a ridiculously high Hyatt floor and there was no water pressure AND no hot water when I tried to hop in the tub and wash my hair quickly. My flight from Chicago had been delayed an entire day; I was lucky to be able to make it in time to “pitch” my novel “The Color of Evil” to a variety of folk. The only person I chose to “pitch” it to was Tony Eldridge, because I knew Tony, personally (slightly). We compared horror stories of our travels. Tony had been stuck on a train, as I recall, traveling from Malibu to New York City, and that had not gone well, either.
The worst thing that happened to me while staying at the Grand Hyatt (aside from the sleeping with the pillow over my head thing) was when I wandered out to get some ice or a can of diet soda. I managed to get my hand (actually, my finger) stuck in a decorative wall plaque that I thought was the “door” to a recessed vending machine. (Hint: it wasn’t). I literally was to the point that images of James Franco amputating his own arm when stuck in a canyon in “24 Hours” were dancing in my brain, as I could not get the ring finger on my right hand back OUT of the crevice on the right after I stuck it IN the crevice, thinking that it would swing open somehow. IN reality, this was a gigantic recessed wall thing-ie meant to be decorative, set near the elevator doors where you would expect ice and soda machines to be located. It hurt like a SOB when I (finally) managed to force my finger back out of the tight spot, most of the skin cleverly removed by the incident.
The last time I stayed at the Grand Hyatt, while attending the workshop presented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco enforcement officers, I actually asked the woman in charge if there wasn’t ANY other hotel that we could have this conference at besides one that was famous as Trump’s first real estate venture in the eighties. The hotel had no cafeteria or cafe (you had to walk over to Grand Central Station’s food court through a tunnel) and the bar was the most ridiculously overpriced bar in Manhattan. I noticed on the third trip to this hotel that literally none of the “famous” authors who had frequented that bar my first year of attendance (Jon Land, Heather Graham, David Morrell, the “Game of Thrones” guy who was there the last two years, etc.) were hanging out in the bar any more. I’m sure they were able to find a much more reasonably priced bar in the area, and one with adequate seating.
Last, but not least, the day I was leaving I had to kill several hours until my plane departed. I checked out by 11 a.m., as required, and left my bags at the desk. Most hotels will happily store your bags for a few hours, but not the Grand Hyatt. There was an hourly charge, per bag, to store your bags in their storage room, despite the fact that you had just paid an outrageous amount to stay in their facility for several days.
They can’t tear it down fast enough to suit me. From what I have read, the number of rooms available will decline from something like 1300 to 500, so, hopefully International Thriller Writers will find a different venue for the annual conference—hopefully one that has a coffee shop and a bar that is conducive to friends and fellow authors gathering in the hotel, rather than having to leave and go elsewhere to be seated and/or to be able to afford the ridiculously overpriced drinks.
Not my favorite Hyatt, and with the Trump history, truly a hotel worthy of tearing down. Did I mention that they charged you an outrageous amount to use the Internet in the room? If you wanted free Internet, you had to go to the lobby. While I realize that is not that uncommon with high-priced hotels, it did nothing to endear me to the place, since I had no hot water, couldn’t turn my lights off (yes, I called downstairs and the desk told me that they had problems of the sort in the hotel all the time before sending someone up who couldn’t fix it) all night, and found the entire place cold, sterile and uninviting.
President Donald J. Trump made a “live” announcement (covered by CNN) at 2:50 p.m. CDT to the effect that the United States has defeated ISIS:
“Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters are gone. We have freed the people from more than 5 million bloodthirsty killers.
“We’ve had victory after victory after victory. 23, 320 square miles controlled by ISIS at end of 2016. [Trump claims to have liberated 20,000 square miles.]
Thanks to the global coalition and to our other partners, the ISIS Caliphate has been decimated. Nobody thought it was possible to do it this quickly. 3 weeks ago I was in Iraq and talked to some of our great generals and I gave the generals the absolute go-ahead. I spoke to one general and he told me it would take one week. They will be informing us officially very soon that it is 100%. Isis can no longer claim superiority over our troops.
We can’t do better than we have done militarily.
We will have people who will be around and hopefully they won’t be around very long. They can no longer extract natural resources because they no longer control the land or the area.
(At this point I noticed that DJT was dribbling down his chain. Why?)
They can no longer claim ancient artifacts. We are cracking down on the Internet. Now, the people on the Internet who used to look up to them as being so brilliant, are not thinking of them as being so brilliant because they’ve been decimated. They can no longer control schools (to inflict their propaganda on young children.) They can no longer launch foreign attacks from launching areas. Their land is gone; it’s a big factor. Their land is gone.”
Trump went on to salute American soldiers and generals and then warned about the remnants that might remain. (“A remnant can be very dangerous.”)
Ben Wedeman, CNN Senior International Correspondent and Max Boot, the author of “The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right” commenting on CNN: “There are between 20 to 30,000 ISIS fighters still in Syria. They have mixed in with the local population and escaped from Raquaa. We have seen more than 100 assassinations of people involved in the anti-ISIS movement in the last few months. From 2000 to 2013 ISIS ruled over a territory as a quasi state. They can just as easily go back to wreaking havoc as a terrorist group without that state. So, speaking with commanders in eastern Syria on the ground, they warn time and time again that the battle against ISIS is not over when their land is gone. That battle would be prolonged in the absence of U.S. air power and coalition support. People are bracing for the possibility of a wave of terror once ISIS loses its final ground.”
“Power vacuum” – reduction in the caliphate is a positive step in the right direction, BUT…The problem is ideology. You can physically kill off soldiers, but if you have the mentality in the hearts and minds of the populace, it is the age-old question. The problem of the administration is that they are being narrow-minded in focusing on the regaining of the territory that ISIS had controlled. Significant, because a lot of ISIS revenue came from that territory, but to just say, “That’s it. Now we can leave” negates every single objective we have had in that area.”
“Great nations do not fight endless wars” (from Trump in SOTU.)
“When Trump said this on Tuesday night, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were sitting there stone-faced. He was saying this in the face of his generals’ counsel. General Votel said what Mattis said about suddenly withdrawing from Syria: “It’s a very bad idea. It’s going to allow ISIS to get back off the map and re-generate its capacity. Last night, President Trump was trashing Iran during the SOTU. We are essentially giving up 1/3 of Syria to Bashar Assad and allowing Iran to expand its power in Syria if we withdraw. A bi-partisan majority in the Senate passed a vote disapproving of a rapid pull-out in Syria, in disagreement with the president’s plans and announcements.”
IN OTHER NEWS
House Intel Chair (Rep. Adam Schiff) plans to probe into Trump’s personal finances.
The Pope has admitted that some sitting Bishops abused nuns.
Content: I’ve been experimenting with trying to post new content on this blog every day.
This is hard when you are a staff of one and have a life, but no new material, i.e., content.
Of course, I don’t have much of a life at the moment, but I did play Hand & Foot Canasta all day today, so I don’t have anything “new” to share with all of you, except that the drive to play “Hand & Foot Canasta” is so far that it took me almost an hour to get there. And it starts at 11 a.m., so I was up early, for me.
I had received a somewhat snarky request that I “not be late.” I was not late, but 2 other people were late (one never showed up at all), and, therefore, my table of newcomers who are learning the game started play with 2 “ghost” players represented by a piece of paper. Those hands were played by our best player (Inga) who did a remarkable job. Inga, who has a pronounced German accent, is truly a good player, as she was able to play HER hand and supervise the 2 pieces of paper that represented the MIA players, one of whom never showed up at all. Apparently you need either 4, 6 or 8 players; we had 5 by game’s end, which made the order in which we would draw and discard cards somewhat irregular.
I had just gotten myself used to the fact that I was the player who would “follow Inga’s discard” when, as it turned out, Inga was playing THREE TIMES. I, however, was not. It became very complex to even know if or when it was even my turn—[and I had 2 sets of rules from the one time I played 2 years ago while visiting my friend Marilyn at the Senior Citizen Center (which is also far away, but not nearly as far as the Blue Cafe where we played here in Austin.)]
I am unclear whether we won or lost. That’s the truth. No idea at all.
I think the first set of hands we were so far down that we couldn’t find up, so everyone decided that we would just call it a “practice round.” One woman (Katie) said she never cared about the score, anyway. That was fine if you’re Katie, but some of us who are going to spend 5 hours playing a game would like to know, at the end of that time, whether we “won” or “lost.” I’m thinking we “lost” the first round and maybe won (?) the last. Who knows? More content on that when I figure it out.
What I do know is that I accidentally left my expensive metal cup in the rest room (I took my own ice because the ice situation is dire with the staff; they bring you a pitcher of water and a pitcher of iced tea, but no glasses, so…). I am sorry I left a $20 thermal cup in the rest room, but I have 2 bright spots of content to share.
#1) I gave a homeless guy in an intersection with a sign one of my 2 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper at a stoplight. He had a sign that read “Anything will help” and it was the only thing I had time to hand him before the light changed.
#2) I walked past a truly cool store at the Galleria (where the restaurant is located) and bought myself a white shawl-like garment that I will, henceforth, carry with me when the AC may be too cold…like all the time. More content on that as the temperatures in Austin soar to 78 or so in the next two days.
#3) I also realized that I had parked my car ON the curb. (I wondered what that large “bump” was when I backed in doing my best imitation of parallel parking.)
So, tomorrow, I am either going to review “Glass,” the new M. Night Shymalan film, OR make predictions about the upcoming Oscars. Stay tuned for further developments. Let me know if you have a preference. Content! Content! Content!