Thursday, October 20, 2016



  1. Title [Click]
    Donald Trump's Alpha Male Insecurity: Getting His Butt Kicked by a Girl Is Just Too Much for Him [Click] Not news, just a light bit of reading to start the day off…


    P.S.: It seems the pundits and newspapers do not think highly of his performance last night, by and large.

  2. Kinda felt like a mosquito/bumble bee rumble. Bear baiting also came to mind. Sorta felt guilty to be witnessing it.

  3. Looks like the Schiaparelli Mars lander got smooshed. [Click]

    Evolution of US Mars landing systems [Click]

    Video illustrates article above. [Click]

    Video simulation of ESA lander and rover [Click] legs and a high center of gravity. Video shows only one parachute, it is said there will be five.


  4. I've always rooted for the underdog. Or mostly. In 7th grade it was the Yankees. The Yankees always won, which made everyone hate them, so I figured being unloved made you the underdog, even if you always won. So they were my guys. But I also learned that we don't love winners unless they're exceptionally humble. "Oh, it was just luck" plays much better than "Damn, I'm good!" What we seem to want to do with winners is pull them down to our level. We look better to ourselves if someone else doesn't look quite that good.

    I've wondered for a long time how much of that is active in the Hillary Clinton dynamic.

  5. Trump’s foreign policy answers sound like a book report from a teenager who hasn’t read the book. “Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath!”
    — Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) October 20, 2016

    This is WON DER FULL!!

  6. Nasty Women Get Sh*t Done [Click] “Trump may have made an incoherent mockery of American democratic tradition at the final debate by declaring the election only counts if he wins, but he also helpfully concocted this Halloween's sure-to-be-hottest costume combo - Nasty Woman and Bad Hombre.

    Question for those who had the fortitude to watch the debate (whether or not they threw inanimate objects at the TV): how did The Great Orange Turnip pronounce “hombre?”

    (1) Ohm-bray?
    (2) Hohm-brie? (o as in homage)
    (3) Other (please specify)


  7. “A wave of apprehension and anguish swept the Republican Party on Thursday, with many GOP leaders alarmed by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and concluding that it is probably too late to salvage his flailing presidential campaign,” the Washington Post reports.

    “As the Republican nominee reeled from a turbulent performance in the final debate here in Las Vegas, his party’s embattled senators and House members scrambled to protect their seats and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities against what Republicans privately acknowledge could be a landslide victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.”

    Any wailing, gnashing of teeth, or rending of garments reported?


  8. Alan, I deeply appreciate your presentations of humour and saluting the absurdity of the time we are in. It helps.
    I cannot recall how DT pronounced the work "Hombre" (I'll guess the second choice), but I sure ain't gonna go back and listen to it again to find out. Heh. Unlike your light morning reading, I have only heavy bedtime reading to offer. Below is a conversation I had this week with Senator Pat Leahy's Field Director, Nate Ruby. Nate is a really good guy who worked hard for Bernie. You will see how jaded I've become this election cycle. There are four exchanges, but they don't all fit in one post. So please bear with me.

  9. On 10/14/16, 4:01 PM, "Patrick Leahy" wrote: Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders announced his support for a strong slate of Vermont Democrats -- including our campaign. I am proud of what Bernie has accomplished, and I am so pleased to have his endorsement. Together, we will continue fighting in the Senate for the issues we both care deeply about: Addressing income inequality, reforming our campaign finance system, and combating climate change. In these final few weeks before Election Day, I look forward to campaigning with Senator Sanders in support of our entire Democratic ticket. Will you commit to continue fighting for the issues that Bernie and I have fought for, and will continue to fight for, with a donation of $20, $30, or more to our campaign today?
    . . .
    Thank you for being a part of this campaign. Sincerely, Patrick Leahy
    U.S. Senator

    So, on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 4:18 PM, I wrote:
    Dear Senator Pat,

    It was so good of Bernie to endorse you when you would not endorse him. How I wish we still had Bernie in this Presidential race. I believe that, at very least, the debates would have had a different focus. I find that he is still my choice for President.

    I am so grateful for all you have done for us over the years that I will vote for you. But I want you to know it has taken me a long time to come around to this decision, because I felt that you and Howard Dean and Peter Shumlin slapped Vermonters in the face when you chose to support Hillary Clinton instead of the choice of the people of Vermont.

    May all be well.

    To my surprise, on 10/17/16, 9:28 AM, "Leahy Info" wrote:
    Hi …

    Thank you so much for your note and your vote!

    Senator Leahy has gotten behind Bernie during every one of his elections to be a member of the state delegation to D.C.. As part of the greatest delegation in the union, our Senators work together to ensure that we end Citizen's United, fight climate change, stand up for women's rights, racial justice... the list goes on. This has nothing to do with any portion of the presidential race/cycle.

    As he and our campaign manager have now come on record many times. Senator Leahy has ALWAYS voted as a superdelegate along with the most national pledged delegates. There has never been an outpouring against the manner in which he casts his superdelegate vote before this year.

    This past year you and I worked hard for Bernie. I put in 80 hour work weeks, and flew across the country to score him victories in New Hampshire, Illinois, Utah, and many of the later Western States. I did this because I knew that most superdelegates back the candidate with the highest number of national pledged delegates on their side. Unfortunately we did not have enough people knocking doors and making phone calls to reach our campaigns goal of getting the vote out for Senator Sanders. Both Senators along with our entire delegation cast a vote for Secretary Clinton at the convention.

    After the outpouring of frustration from Vermont that the Superdelegates were not bound to their state's primary vote percentage. I was sure that, like Maine and Minnesota, at our state delegate convention someone would raise this issue and move to bind our superdelegates to our pledged delegates. Senator Leahy has been on record saying that this is something that he would support if Vermonters wanted to change the system. To the best of my knowledge, not a single soul out brought up doing this.

    As an avid Sanders supporter, I would not be working for, let alone backing Senator Leahy for higher office if I thought he was not on the side of progress and justice in this country. Our opponent Scott Milne is running a negative campaign based around personal attacks. Senator Leahy is running a campaign, just like Bernie did, on the issues affecting the nation. Bernie knows this, and thats why he endorsed Senator Leahy. I'm glad to hear that we will have your vote in November, and thank you for reaching out.

    Nate Ruby
    Field Director

  10. Hallo Nate,

    Thank you warmly for writing back to me in the midst of these wild last weeks before Election Day. I am very moved that you took the time.

    It’s interesting that there was so much opposition this year to Pat’s choice of Hillary over Bernie, but not in past years. I suppose that’s because he has voted akin to Vermonters in the past, and this year we had one of our own running, whom he chose not to support this time. One hopes that superdelegates will remember when voting how they came to be superdelegates. It is a privilege granted by virtue of having been elected by their constituents, and not something independent of that reality. I hope those who championed Hillary early on will be more cautious in the future about championing one candidate before it is known who else may be running.

    The inner workings of the Vermont (or National) Democratic Party are not something I am privy to, as I am not a Democrat. I stopped being a Democrat when I saw how Howard Dean was treated by his own party, in Iowa. I even have discussed this with him. Since then I have been an Independent.

    I had worked hard at Dean HQ, preparing Meet Up Packets, doing mailings, answering phones, bringing food for the common table for those working impossibly long hours, etc.. I was a regular on the original Dean Blog. I’m not a slacker. I have volunteered for Peter Welch’s campaign as well as Doug Racine’s and before him Scudder Parker’s. I volunteered for Bernie’s campaign from the time we were all crammed into the little office on Main Street. I am an election official in my town and have run for local office. I helped get home schooling legislation passed in Vermont in the mid-1980’s. Currently, I am helping with the National Nurse bill now in Congress, because I have six grandchildren and care about their future.

    It stung to read that you believe it was a lack of mouse pads and shoe leather that caused Bernie to not win nomination. Please do not blame the people for the inner workings of the DNC, and all those who chose Hillary long before the people were consulted. This would have been a completely different election cycle if Bernie hadn’t been cut out of the picture from early on in favour of another Clinton Administration. Moreover, Bernie fell on his sword, and I still ache about that.

    As you can probably tell, I am intensely disillusioned about all things political these days. Why does it take 12+ years to get passed in Congress a bill that requires no appropriation, will highlight and support nurses, and has 95 bipartisan cosponsors as well as the endorsement of 119 organisations (including the Vermont Legislature twice)?!! Yet it’s been in subcommittee since January, and is still waiting for a hearing. There are so many layers and layers of power struggles that seem to matter more than We the People whom Congress is supposed to serve. And frankly I’m tired of it.

    I’d like to see us do away with parties altogether. Give anyone who wants to run for President the same amount of money (no contributions, no Super PACs), and maybe six months (a year at most) to make their case to the American people. Then hold an Election with instant voter runoff and be done with it. No primaries needed. Then voters wouldn’t be tuning the whole thing out by the second year of campaigning, and we could finally have more than two viable candidates to vote for. However, I don’t expect significant election reform in my lifetime anymore.

    So that’s where I am, and why I am unhappy about the lack of support by Pat and Howard and others from Vermont for Bernie, with the notable exception of Peter Welch. And there’s Bernie supporting them anyway. He’s just the best!

    Pat has my vote because he has earned it. The good he has done outweighs my frustration.
    Thanks also to you for your long hours, hard work and caring. It matters, Nate, it really does.
    All the best to you.

  11. Yes, it's hard, listener. I remain at heart a New Deal Democrat (albeit, I flatter myself, a somewhat updated model), and ache that my party turned its back on me, on mine, and on our interests--as well as our communities. I unquestionably fit the model of the modern upper middle class--those targeted by the New Democrats/DLC--but remember very well where I came from. Bernie remembers where he came from, too. On the positive side, I am cheered that so many young people seem to have become politically and socially aware; they are our hope. Dum spiro, spero. And I always vote.


  12. Yes, good point about our young people! As long as they do not become discouraged!