Bombs Away!

Pelicans Approaching

Plop, plop, plop… Sondland sings. “Everyone knew.” “Trump ordered.” Pence denies. Pompeo planning to resign early, to save his reputation. Too bad that that ship has already sailed. Ken Starr floats President’s resignation on Fox. A Senate GOP trip to the White House might be in the offing. Trump says, “I WANT NOTHING” [to do with this anymore] “NO QUID PRO QUO” [time for me to go.] Bombshells were exploding all day long and President Pelosi was trending on Twitter. No one seems to like Rudy Guiliani and it looks like he is being teed up to take the fall, insurance policy or not. Except, how does an unpaid personal attorney halt $391 million in aid to Ukraine? Riddle me that Batman. Anyway according to Trump, the ambassador is “Not a man I know well.” And the week’s still not half over yet.

Lock Him Up

Clouds Over the Capitol

Trump intimidated a witness today, while she was testifying at his impeachment hearing. She was testifying on how Trump had previously publicly intimidated her. Trump’s tweet energized today’s proceedings and threw his Republican sycophants onto their back feet. Trump’s live attack and act of witness tampering certainly added an element of pizzazz that critics claim was missing from the hearings on Wednesday. Trump’s misogynistic attack converted a day that had been scheduled to only supply backstory, into galvanizing testimony. 

Meanwhile across town, Roger Stone, Trump’s political fixer was convicted of seven felony counts for lying to Congress. He was guilty on all counts. All-in-all, today was a very good day for the good guys and our country. As the noose tightens around him, Trump is acting more and more erratically and guiltily.

Political Winds

Manganese Oxides – Dendritic crystal growth

After almost a week in Washington DC and an off-off year election, you didn’t really think that there wouldn’t be a political post, now did you? On Monday, after a day-long museum crawl, I was walking back to the hotel. As I passed the Capitol building, I noticed more than the usual amount of activity on the part of the Capitol police. One officer was standing on the opposite street corner, with an AR-15. I came to the conclusion that Moscow Mitch and Red Rand would soon motorcade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Whitehouse and join Trump on a flight to Kentucky. Their combined mission was to prop up the incumbent Republican governor. Unfortunately for them all and even though Trump stated that “losing sends a really bad message” and pleaded with his fans, “you can’t let that happen to me!” It happened. The Democrat won the popular vote, with Medicare. Now the GOP is maneuvering to game that election.

All week, DC television had been dominated with political ads by candidates for Virginia’s state legislature. Democratic ads harped on their opponent’s NRA support, “A bullet travels the length of a football field before it is first heard.” The NRA rally that I had previously seen on the Capitol grounds, must have been in response to this campaigning. Meanwhile, Republican ads harkened back to the scandals that engulfed Virginia’s Democratic administration earlier this year, “If your head is held down, then it is not consensual.” They were all highly repetitive. In the end, the Democratic message won out.

We are now less than a year out from next year’s 2020 Presidential election. Tuesday’s elections were the largest last set of elections before that election. Except for elections in the reddest of red state of Mississippi, things went pretty much in favor of the Democrats, which is an encouraging sign.

Newseum

Gutenberg’s Puzzle, Lloyd G. Schermer, 2006,

Under the motto “to err is human, to correct divine,” embedded into the white tiled walls of the men’s room in the Newseum are past newspaper headlines that don’t read as intended. Collected by the Columbia Journalism Review these headlines that don’t mean what they say and corrections that admit embarrassing errors are the best of bathroom graffiti. I’ve collected some of them below:

  • Solar system expected to be back in operation – Libertyville Herald 3.15.78
  • Collene Campbell champions the rights of murder victims after being one herself more than once – The Orange County Register 9.30.01
  • Chief Blue, the last full-blooded Catawba Indian Chief died in 1959. The Evening Herald incorrectly said Wednesday that he died three years ago due to a reporting error. – Evening Herald (Rock Hill, SC) 9.2.76
  • Deer Kill 130,000 – The Minneapolis Tribune 12.7.67
  • Babies are what the mother eats – The Times-Herald 7.11.64
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge – Milford Citizen 7.12.82
  • Ford, Reagan Neck in Presidential Primary – Ethiopian Herald 2.24.76
  • Defendant’s speech ends in long sentence – Minneapolis Tribune  2.25.81
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection From Loved One – Albuquerque Journal 12.26.84
  • Editors’ Note: A mistake made by a transcription service mangled a quotation from William Bennett in Michael Kelly’s July 17th Letter from Washington. In criticizing the political views of Patrick Buchanan, Mr. Bennett said “it’s a real us-and-then kind of thing,” not, as we reported, “it’s a real S & M kind of thing.” – The New Yorker 8.14.95

Smithsonian Stories

Smithsonian Castle

This was my view as I sat on a park bench in the middle of the Mall and spoke with Anne. I hadn’t talked to her for a day and it was good to hear her voice. It was a brilliant, brisk morning and I was waiting for the museums to open. A bicycle cop interrupted our conversation, when he asked if I was someone else. By the time that this post sees daylight, she will have started her new teacher gig. It would have been nice if she could have come on this trip too. 

I couldn’t do even two museums today. I ran out of camera battery and steam at about the same time. I did the American History and most of the Natural History museum. I’ll have to go back tomorrow and finish up, which will put a dent in what I had planned for the next day.

As I lined up for first entry, one of the many showboating security guards that I’ve met, gave us in line to get in his spiel. In his seemingly endless list of things you shouldn’t try to bring into the museum, he jokingly ended with guns. If you had any of these things, he invited you to come up and speak with him. As it turned out, the guy ahead of me had a gun. The guard told him to see him inside. What with our county’s current, bullshit interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, I can imagine, him being a white guy, giving him and asking him not do it again.

After the Nat’s parade, I skirted by an NRA rally that was being held in front of the Capitol. To parrot our illustrious leader, it looked small and weak. It’s hard to compete with the Nats in this town. It is a bit of police state here though. Isn’t that what the NRA is supposedly fighting? There is the pervasive DC police, who were showing off their SWAT team’s new four wheeled toy on the Mall, after the Nats parade. By the Capitol, it’s the Capitol police. By the Whitehouse, it’s the Secret Service. I think that they too were overhelmed by the Nats fans.