Saturday, January 30, 2021

The New Face of the Republican Party

For about 20 seconds, I had hopes that the Republicans would wake up from their four year fever dream and realize that they had been very bad people.  Nah.  Kevin McCarthy already walked back his statement that the orange ectoplasm had instigated January 6, and instead blamed it on "everybody."  Mitch the Spineless, also walked back his earlier condemnation and lukewarm support for conviction.  They're all back on the ectoplasm train.

What is becoming very clear is that January 6 was not a bunch of people caught up in the moment, that it was a planned insurrection.  Propublica has done a good article about who did this.  Servants of the ectoplasm planned, funded and executed the raid on the capital. 

(Caroline) Wren was no ordinary event planner. She served as a deputy to Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, at Trump Victory, a joint presidential fundraising committee during the 2020 campaign. The Justin mentioned in her text was Justin Caporale, a former top aide to first lady Melania Trump, whose production company helped put on the event at the Ellipse.

Text messages and an event-planning memo obtained by ProPublica, along with an interview with Chafian, indicate that Wren, a Washington insider with a low public profile, played an extensive role in managing operations for the event. The records show that Wren oversaw logistics, budgeting, funding and messaging for the Jan. 6 rally that featured President Donald Trump.

Wren’s services were enlisted by a major donor to Trump’s presidential campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported Saturday that Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to Publix Super Markets, committed some $300,000 to fund the Jan. 6 rally.

It's worth reading, it really shines a light on how dedicated these people are to installing the ectoplasm as ruler for life.

So, this is disturbing.  Also disturbing is the rise in the GOP of Marjorie Taylor-Greene.  She's a Q-Anon fan.  Lately she has said that the California forest fires were caused by Israeli space lasers.  She expressed her desire to shoot Speaker Pelosi in the head, as well as hang Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  According to her, the third plane on 9/11 did not hit the Pentagon; there is no evidence of that.  She believes the shootings at Parkland were staged.  She even went to far as to follow David Hogg in D.C. shouting at him that he wanted to take away her second amendment rights.  The video is here. She's on record as saying that if the ectoplasm were to have the election stolen from him, that it would require blood and guns to preserve the American way of life.  

What's worse, is there is exactly no, none, not any push back from the GOP about her words, or her behavior.  The ectoplasm called her and egged her on.  Now she is renewing her calls for violence. She provided an accounting of the phone call which you can read here.

Taylor Greene’s rant went on and on, as she was clearly inspired by the former white supremacist in chief.

Greene later claimed that she was the real victim of the insurrectionists that she is suspected of working with, and she wasn’t subtle in suggesting that the real violence is committed by African-American protesters.

Few people are asking for an apology from Taylor Greene. Members of the House say that she is a security risk and want her expelled. The situation is so bad with Greene that Rep. Cori Bush moved her office away from Greene because she was concerned about the safety of her staff.

The people who are asking for apologies are not Republicans.  They're fine with this.  Against the wishes of Kevin McCarthy (House Minority Leader) Matt Gaetz (R-Fl) took himself to Wyoming to campaign against Liz Cheney.  She voted for impeachment, ectoplasm is angry.

It appears that for the next two years, the only functions of the Republican party will be to make it harder to vote and obstruct the Democrats.  That one person lead in the person of VP Harris is going to breaking the tie votes early and often.  If the GOP gets back in power in 2022, they will kill this country.  Jim and I are discussing Portugal again.  

There was a hike yesterday.  It rained last night, so that was good.

Today is sunny, but really cold.  It is a cold air mass.



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Snow, Kestrels and Ice Pellets

When I got up this morning, I looked out at the mountains and saw snow.  We thought that was pretty cool, because it was up there and not here.

Then it snowed.  The temperature dropped and white stuff came out of the sky.  I hate when that happens.




After awhile, it stopped, the temperature came back up and there was some sun.  An American Kestrel perched on the agave flower spike for over an hour.  First he shook off the water, fluffed up and sat in the sun.  Later there was grooming. 




They are really pretty birds.  They're also called sparrow hawks because of their ability to grab a small bird on the wing, kill it and eat it.  

It's going down to 27 degrees tonight.  Actually 6 am tomorrow morning will be the coldest time, which I think is kind of weird.  One would think it would be the lowest around two or three, but no.  The first time we went out to cover the bougainvillea ice pellets were falling from the sky.  We tried again later, got sprinkled on with the wind up, but it's done now.  This is the only remaining plant that is cold sensitive, the rest are good to 20 degrees.

That's it! That's all I've got.


Sunday, January 24, 2021

We Have Winter

Welp, it appears we're having winter after all.  A winter storm warning for high winds is up, and they got it right this time.  Two of our neighbors were seen heading up into the desert, one wonders if they will get wet.  They certainly will be windblown.

Last night gave us a pretty good sunset.


This is the darkening sky out to the west.

Later there was a visit from a hawk.

 
He has his head turned looking at us.

All of this was followed by hail - in the desert.


Friday, January 22, 2021

The Pencil is Gone

For those of you who use the pencil icon at the bottom of older posts to edit - the pencil is gone.  Blogger is aware of the problem, but it is not clear if they broke it, if they're going to fix it, or if they thought this would be a great idea to bedevil the poor users.

Go to this blog and read the solutions.  There is an easy fix, and a slightly more complicated one.  Easy fix is adding some CSS code in your customize template menu.  The hardest part for me was finding the save button.  It does result in other people being able to see the pencil and tools but they can't use them.  The harder fix is downloading an add-on and cutting and pasting the code there.  That process is detailed in a subsequent post.  The Firefox add on, Stylus, has some onerous requirements for snooping one's laptop, so I have not decided if I'll install it or not.

I was not aware of how to edit CSS in the current blogger.  I did it years ago to center my header picture, promptly forgot how I did it, and so never could change the header.  Anyway, this will tell you how to edit CSS.  It really is easy, fear not.

I took this last night before Blogger made me crazy.  I need more serenity.



Thursday, January 21, 2021

It's Raining!

I shall now talk about the rain.  I will not speak of the spineless worm, Lindsey Graham, who is still blaming Speaker Pelosi for the lack of security at the Capitol January 6.  I also will not speak of the spineless worm, Mitch McConnell, who is whining and sniveling about power sharing with the Democrats.  I also will not speak about the empty headed Q-Anon Magat, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who (claims to have) filed articles of impeachment against President Biden.  Nor shall I speak about the spineless worm, Ted Cruz, who is already taking issue with every damn thing President Biden has done in the last 24 hours.  Nope, we're talking about the rain.

Last summer's monsoon failed.  We had exactly a day and a half of precipitation.  December is normally a rainy month, which sets up the spring bloom of the wild flowers  There was exactly one day of rain.  Last night it rained a little, and today it's raining more.  We set out for a bike ride immediately after breakfast.  No dishes were done, there was only running out the door, because rain was in the forecast.  There is a cut off low spinning over Baja.  It's detached from the jet stream, so nothing is really steering it.  It's been wobbling around, and is now heading north west in fits and starts.  

There were white puffy clouds when we left.  Then it got darker.

There's rain out in the distance.  We decided to climb the last hill and head back towards the house so if it did rain, we wouldn't have to ride so far in it.  Halfway back the skies opened up and it poured.  We've had a fair amount of thunder, too. 

The desert is desperate for rain, all of the prickly pears are shriveled up and sad.  That's a prickly pear on the right foreground.  This is storm one of the three predicted, along with much cooler temperatures (like 30 degrees).  The weather heads are suggesting the possibility of valley snow.

I took this last night.  There wasn't much color, but the sunbeams shooting up through the clouds was kind of cool.

Now that President Biden is in office, and the orange ectoplasm has been banished to Florida with no social media platforms available to him, I'm sort of at loose ends.  Perhaps I will start working my way through the months of New Yorker magazines that have piled up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Today was the best inauguration ever.  Not only did it mark the end of our national nightmare, it brought us hope.  President Biden truly is the man for this time.  It's good that his previous efforts to become president failed, because they brought him to this day.  I can not think of anyone more qualified to do this job.  Even the heavens were happy.


Amanda Gorman was the stand out orator of the event.  The transcript of her poem can be found here.  Imagine, she's 22 years old and she can write like this and recite it at a presidential inauguration.  How does it happen that she has this amount of grace and poise at such a young age?


Lady Gaga's rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was excellent.  When she sang it, she was also telling the story and showing us what the words meant.  It's usually such a cringe worthy song because of the range, but she nailed it.

It was good - it was really, really good and I'm so happy that they're here.

From Amanda Gorman's poem:

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust.

For while we have our eyes on the future,

history has its eyes on us.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

Random Photos and No Stockpile

Every morning for the past four years I have awakened and thought to myself, surely it can't get any worse.  Every damn time, I have been wrong - it does get worse.  Before I launch into today's screed I have some attractive photos.  

I took this one in January 2019.  Is it not lovely?  The way the clouds are layered is particularly attractive.  It was in a Facebook memory, so I fetched it up to the blog.

A day or two ago there was a dove on the wall, it's a  Mourning Dove, also known as a turtle dove.  It was chilly, it's puffed up to trap body heat.

Their eyelid skin is blue.  They're pretty birds, and they have a striking note to their wing beats.

This was today.  Hardly any wind, clear skies, and warm enough for shorts and jerseys.  Before leaving, we stood and talked to a neighbor who was pruning a Texas Ranger, and another neighbor who was watching him do work.  It was so unbelievably pleasant.  Remember, all you people living where it's cold, we had weeks of 110 degrees last summer.

 

Some of the nights have been cold - we're low budget so all we do is put a styrofoam cup on our baby cactus.  These people made hats.  Totally cute.

We went to  Costco yesterday.  I spied a five pack of Clorox wipes in someone's basket; feeling like a hound on the scent I ran to the cleaning supply area, but did not find them.  Spotted another five pack in a man's cart, stopped him and asked where he got them.  They were up in the front of the store, we'd walked right by them.  So, now we have a five pack of Covid killing Clorox wipes.  Due to all of our other pandemic shopping, there's no where to put them, but I will not complain about that.  Note the giant rolls of aluminum foil in the background.  Notice that I have not showed the giant pile of toilet paper I've accumulated over time.

This was on twitter today, I find it astonishingly amusing.  American Thinker is a right wing magazine.  They, and many others, have received letters from the lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems.  Apologies have been demanded and tendered for the lies they have been telling.

As you no doubt recall, President Elect Biden announced last week that he would be releasing all of the stockpiled vaccines for immediate deployment.  This was met with resistance from the administration medical talking heads as being short sided and potentially dangerous.  Guess what?  There are no stockpiles - they were released in December.  Azar had to walk back his previous statements about Biden's plans.  From the WAPO we learn:

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line.

Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark.



This is very disheartening, I had dared believe Jim and I would be vaccinated 1Q21, but now I doubt it. 

Secretary of State Pompeo has spent his last week or so burying foreign policy landmines to hurt the Biden administration, so I guess this is another landmine for Mr. Biden courtesy of the orange ectoplasm.  

So, yes, it actually can get worse.



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Schadenfreude 2.0 - Impeached Again

 

With that, the orange ectoplasm becomes the first president in history to be impeached twice.  It's unlikely the spineless worms in the Senate will vote to convict, but he's still impeached.

In news from the department of schadenfreude, the real estate firm who handles the renting out of floor space and collecting of rent payments for the ectoplasms' properties has said they will no longer work with him.  All of the banks he's done business with will no longer work with him.  He'll have to take him money somewhere else.  The city of New York is cancelling their contracts with the ectoplasm.  Apparently someone called Eric this morning for his reaction, and Eric had a complete and total melt down and hung up on the caller.  Ivanka has said she will not be attending the inauguration after all; and the swanky country club near their recently purchased $30M lot on Indian River Island has declined their request for membership - so no club sandwiches for them at lunch.  Hah!

It appears that members of Congress have colluded with the insurrectionists.  Ali Alexander, a key organizer of the terrorists is on record saying he organized the "Stop the Steal" event alongside three GOP lawmakers: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.), all hard-line Trump supporters.  Biggs and Gosar are flaming right wingers, Brooks is certifiably bat shit crazy.  So the fact that these three have been named is not surprising.

What is surprising is that 30 House Democrats want information about suspicious groups of people being given tours of the Capitol on January 5.  The Capitol has been closed for tours due to Covid.  However, there were many groups being shown around the Capitol on the 5th.  Mikie Sherrill first raised alarms Tuesday that some members of Congress may have provided "reconnaissance" tours to would-be insurrectionists.  This is bad, the people who did this need to be removed.  More can be read here.

This is the Capitol.  Soldiers sleeping on the floor is something that has not been seen since the Civil War.  How did it come to this?


 A few birds have returned to the yard.  Up the street this afternoon we heard a raven, which we have not done all year.  

That's it!  That's all I've got.




Monday, January 11, 2021

Schadenfreude

 The PGA has permanently banned any ectoplasm owned golf course from participating in PGA events, including the one that was scheduled for 2022.

Amazon stopped offering its web hosting services to Parler on Saturday.

A non-US hacker has archived all of the Parler posts and videos from January 6 to the demise of Parler.  She has 56 terabytes of data, and some of it is location data.  This could be useful to researchers and law enforcement.  You can read about it here.

Stripe will no longer process payments for orange ectoplasm merchandise.

From Vice we learn: "To send its emails, the Trump campaign uses infrastructure from a company called ExactTarget, an email marketing firm now owned by Salesforce, according to a Motherboard analysis of the emails. The emails are sent in conjunction with the Republican National Committee, according to the emails themselves. In response to a question about whether the company had taken action to prevent Trump from using the "contact@victory.donaldtrump.com" email infrastructure, Salesforce said it had "taken action" against the RNC to "prevent its use of our services in any way that could lead to violence." 

He's not a happy camper.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Weather and Hot Water Tank Maintenance

This is another picture of last night's sunset.  It was pretty good.  There is less zoom (more crop) so you can see the size of our neighbor's trees. The one on the left is a eucalyptus.  They're beautiful trees, but they drop leaves by the thousands.  Someone must rake them up.  Our neighbor is a pretty cool guy.  Although he's up in years, he remains very active.  He had a pronounced tremor in one hand.  They did the deep brain stimulation on him, and now he is tremor free.  I'm certain that it has made walking, biking, and golf easier to do.  I like knowing that the technology exists and can be effective.


Yesterday was outstanding.  Originally Jim thought he had an appointment with the dermatologist, but as it turned out he did not.  So we were able to ride in temperatures that allowed us to wear shorts and a jersey.  I love that, pulling on the layers is just so annoying.  After we returned, Jim encouraged us to flush the dang water heater.  If you hear your tank making a popping sound while there is heavy demand for hot water (like the dishwasher) you have sediment.  The sediment lays on the bottom of the tank with water under it, that water boils and then bursts through the sediment layer.  You're wasting money boiling that water.  After awhile, it kills the tank and you must replace it.  Given the amount of minerals in our water, this is a twice a year exercise.  The last time we had it done, we paid attention to what the tech was doing and wrote it down.  It's not actually difficult.  Below is what sediment looks like.  That's out on the street where the hose dumped it.

View from the front yard.


@Sabian404 posted this picture of a new 777X preparing to leave the factory in Everett, WA.  It's the next iteration of the 777, it has composite wings and folding wingtips.  Look at the size of the engines - big.  If you're on twitter, he's worth following, he's a plane spotter and shows us interesting stuff.

I was determined to keep today's post apolitical, but I find I can't resist posting this picture.  It's a screen shot someone did of Fox.  Note the number of platforms that have banned the ectoplasm.  Pinterest got rid of him!  This morning Jim read that his email provider had shut him down, so there are no more fund raising avenues available to him.

Today is colder than yesterday, with a really cold breeze.  We've done laundry, perhaps we shall dust.

Friday, January 8, 2021

January 8

This is a comment left on one of the blogs I read.  It was left yesterday. People talk about unity and healing and all of that stuff, but how does that happen when people don't even agree on basic facts?

Oh my. This requires a little more research. It was not Trump supporters but ANTIFA carrying Trump flags. You can't believe everything you see on the news any more. That lady was a veteran standing outside on the lawn and was shot by the police by mistake. Where is the outrage about that? What about all the killings, looting and burning in Portland and Seattle? Where was the outrage then? News stations used to tell the truth. Now they tell you what they want you to believe. Sadly, people do believe it without further investigation.

Several law enforcement agencies have quite clearly stated there was no involvement on the part of Antifa.  The people who did the destruction were supporters of the orange ectoplasm.  Jake Angeli is also on record as saying that there was no Antifa - it was them!

This is funny.

Awhile back I posted about the Bellingcat organization.  They're the ones that proved that Russians shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine.  Bellingcat has done a bang up job of tracing Ashli Babbit's steps to radicalization and then through the Capitol.   Ashli morphed from an Obama supporter to a rabid follower of QAnon.  Using cell phone records and many videos they have the route she took to her death.  She was killed in the Capitol by a plain clothes police officer as she was trying to get through a window to the Speaker's Lobby where congress people were hiding.  It's sad that she died, but there was no way the mob could be allowed to breach that window.  The article is here and is worth reading.  Update to post:  WAPO has done an article about Bellingcat.

The are discrepancies in the stories of why the security breach happened in the first place. From WAPO we have this account from Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) offered new details Thursday about the delayed response to assist law enforcement at the Capitol, saying the Maryland National Guard was ready to help but was “repeatedly” told they did not have the authorization needed to join the effort. Hogan received a panicked call from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md)., who pleaded with him to send in troops from Maryland, the governor said. Hoyer told him that he was calling from a secure location with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“I was actually on the phone with Leader Hoyer who was pleading with us to send the guard,” Hogan said. “He was yelling across the room to Schumer and they were back and forth saying we do have the authorization and I’m saying, ‘I’m telling you we do not have the authorization.' ”

Hogan said Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, was repeatedly rebuffed by the head of the National Guard at the federal level.

Gowen “kept running it up the flagpole, and we don’t have authorization,” Hogan said. “We don’t have authorization.”

Ninety minutes later, Hogan said, he received a call “out of the blue, not from the secretary of defense, not through what would be normal channels,” but from Ryan McCarthy, the secretary of the Army. McCarthy asked if the Maryland guardsmen could “come as soon as possible,” Hogan recounted.

“It was like, yeah, we’re waiting, we’re ready,” Hogan said.

We've also been told that Capitol police turned down offers of backup, three days before the riots. Apparently they believed it would be a peaceful first amendment covered protest, despite the fact that on Parler, chat rooms and Facebook the planning had been going on for months.  AP has a particularly scathing article about the lack of readiness, which you can find here.  This is a complete and total failure on the part of the national security infrastructure.  This was knowable, and they either chose to be idiots or to be complicit.  The Pentagon has countered with they don't do domestic surveillance, so how were they to know?

In news of the very good, twitter has permanently suspended the orange ectoplasm's account.  It's about time.  You can read their reasoning here.  The most chilling words are:

    • Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021. 

As such, our determination is that the two Tweets above are likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.

I think Fiona Hill has made one of the most cogent statements about the whole shameful episode.


 Meanwhile, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has said she's not sure she can remain a member of the Republican party if the orange ectoplasm does not resign.  This was placed on Twitter in response to her statement.

 
So, that was today.  All we have to do is get through to the inauguration and hopefully they don't hurt the president and vice-president.  I wish they would do the swearing in inside.

Finally!  This day is over.



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January 6

Well - it has been a day.  The good news is that Rev. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff  both won their races for the senate and Chuck Schumer is now the majority leader in the senate.  Way to go gentlemen!  Their vote counts were large enough that no recount is required by Georgia law.

We left to go ride about 12:45 today.  Just as we left Jim hollered out that the terrorists had breached the Capitol doors.  There was an armed standoff at the front of the House chamber.  Did you ever think you would read those words?  Protesting terrorists climbed up the Capitol, broke out the windows and stormed in, pretty much unimpeded by the Capitol police. Where was their backup, you wonder?  

Recall this photo from the Black Lives Matter protests.  They were peaceful, but somehow they managed to put this many National Guard troops on the steps of the Capitol.

At 2:57 Mountain time, this tweet was put up.

It took two hours to call for backup.  Two hours.  This was not an accident, the orange ectoplasm wanted this chaos. 

From the WAPO article (no paywall) we learn the following.

In the weeks leading up to the chaos at the Capitol, federal law enforcement officials said they did not plan to have a large visible buildup in personnel and vehicles on D.C. streets. That stands in contrast to their response in June, when phalanxes of heavily armed agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives flooded the nation’s capital to dispel civil unrest over police conduct.

Ahead of Wednesday’s events, several law enforcement officials said they did not want to overreact to the planned protest, and that street clashes are primarily the responsibility of D.C. police and the U.S. Capitol Police. But on Wednesday, after angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, officials scrambled to pull in resources to take back control of the building.

 As of 4:26 Mountain time, the Capitol has been secured, and the terrorists are being nudged away from the area.  They're in violation of curfew, but they're being treated very gently by law enforcement.  The BLM protestors were beaten, gassed and carried away in buses.  I haven't seen mass arrests of people being carried away to jail.

This was the scene at the armed stand off.  They had to barricade the doors to keep the terrorists out. 

Paul Gosar, a wingnut Arizona representative from a wingnut area of the state, said these people looked like Antifa to him.  Every time he speaks we better understand why his family divorced him. 

 Then there was this.


This is just horrific.  The next 14 days are terrifying me.  I wish the 25th amendment would be invoked and get him the hell out of the White House.  

House and Senate members expect to reconvene by 8:00 Eastern to count the electoral college votes.  One hopes that the Jim Crow caucus will drop their stupid objections to Biden's win.  It's late, people are tired.  Their effort is doomed, give it up.  Update to post:  Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz pursued their objections, forced a vote and kept people in the Capitol until 4 am.)