Matchstix Man

Matchstix Bromeliad

I took this picture on Monday. It wasn’t until Tuesday that I figured out which flower I had photographed. I didn’t just want to call it something like strange pink flower, although I have used such nondescript titles like that in the past. On Monday, I Googled without success this plants name. Yesterday, I asked two Climatron workers, who were only able to identify its family as bromeliad. Some more Googling eventually elucidated this flower’s name. Mystery solved!

Instead of going to the garden for the third day in a row, I did my normal walk or at least attempted to. While most sidewalks had been cleared, there were enough that hadn’t that I ended up mainly walking in the street. Fortunately, for a lot of the walk there was a bike lane to walk in and in the neighborhoods there wasn’t that much traffic. Maybe it was a sign of my fatigue and frustration that when I was almost home, I was disappointed to find that Ethel Walk had not been shoveled. This a public walkway that connects two streets and crosses an open storm drain. Such was my despair that when I returned home, I called up the city to complain. I was told that the city doesn’t shovel sidewalks, but I contended that this one was different, after all, it has its own street sign. Stay tuned we’ll have to wait and see where this one goes.  

Speaker Pelosi “asked” the President to consider postponing his SOTU address, because of security concerns caused by his 26 day shutdown. If he could not see reopening the government, then rather than throwing a temper tantrum, because she took his TV time away, she invited him to submit his report in writing. This to the man who only yesterday served “1000 hamberders” up on Twitter. 

Shut Show

Smallwood’s Anole

The government is still shutdown and now, so is Saint Louis. We got a respectable 8″ last night and it is still coming down. In truth, ours like the government’s is only a partial shutdown. Our one-block street is plowed, all the way down to black top and the paper was delivered, eventually. We might even get mail today. There is some heavy-duty shoveling in my future that was made only worse, when rising temperatures heated our aluminum awning enough that the snow piled up on it slid to the ground. Now there’s a rampart at the walk’s head.

Local television is serving up a combination of fear and schadenfreude. Be afraid, don’t venture out or you’ll end up like these unfortunates. Don’t they look miserable? If TV cannot find enough misery, then they manufacture their own, by sending out the newest-cutest reporter to suffer in the elements for you.

We’re all making much adieu about nothing. This storm was well forecasted. Because it first hit during the evening rush hour there was additional turmoil, but everyone had plenty of time to fill their fridge. Hunkering down for a day or two in winter is not all that bad. Everything will be right again by Monday.

Yesterday’s sojourn at the zoo was a tribute of sorts. In 1982, Saint Louis experienced its greatest snowfall in living memory, 19″. We still felt new here and called ourselves Babes in Toyland, having ventured out alone onto the world stage. It was a Saturday and we had attended a matinée at the Esquire. Exiting the theater, we were greeted with thunder-snow. We had plans to visit friends that evening, but begged off. The city was closed for a week.

Like today, it was still snowing the next morning. We lived closer to the park then and took advantage of our sudden richness to cross-country ski. None of the roads were plowed and there were few cars moving. We eventually found our way to the zoo. The entrances were closed, except for a service one, where the gate had been wedged open. We asked an employee, who was climbing through the gap in the gate, if the zoo was open? After thinking, he said yes.

There was not much to see. All the buildings were closed. Including the pictured anole’s herpetarium. The only animals that we saw were the sea lions, who were loving the snow. A sole concession stand was open and in it had gathered some of the zoo’s staff. Sipping hot chocolate, we overheard one man exclaim that he had driven 20 miles to get here, because he had “200 herbivores to feed.” Talk about an essential employee. 

Move On, Nothing to See Here

725 5th Ave President Barack H. Obama Ave, New York, NY 10022 is petitioning NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to rename the portion of 5th Ave in front of the Trump Tower to President Barack H. Obama Ave. There is precedent for this. The portion of 6th Ave in front of the Rockefeller Center is called Avenue of the Americas. Currently more than 25,000 signatures have been gathered, with a goal of 75,000. Sounds implausible, but it would be nice. 

Yesterday, amongst all of the hubbub about the government shutdown and the Wall, there were new developments in the Trump-Russia collusion case. First, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who during the 2016 presidential campaign met with Trump campaign officials at Trump Tower, was charged with money laundering. As part of her scheme, she is alleged to have cycled this money through Manhattan properties. Veselnitskaya is in Moscow now and is very unlikely to face any of these charges.

Another development was triggered by what appears to be a mistake made by Paul Manafort’s legal team. A redacted court filing was made disputing Robert Mueller’s contention that Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying. The redaction was easily circumvented by a simple cut and paste. What was revealed is that Mueller claims that Manafort lied about his sharing of campaign polling data with a Russian operative, while he was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman.

Finally on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts denied a stay involving a bank owned by a foreign government. This case is shrouded in secrecy, but is believed to be associated with the Mueller investigation. Reporters staked out the courthouse, but were kicked out when officials cleared the floor. The bank and the country are not known, but what is known is that their continued failure to comply with a grand jury subpoena will now cost them $50,000 a day.

I can guess where these lines of investigation will eventually lead. The pieces disclosed indicate a pattern of investigation that has been used before to take down Mafia crime families. In this case there is only one family of note. As the noose tightens expect further disruptive behavior from Individual 1.

#Resist the Wall

Anne Resists the Shutdown a Year too Early

Tonight, Trump’s lie-filled partisan rant about the Wall will be broadcasted. It hasn’t aired yet, but I still stand by my characterization. It is day 18 of the US Government shutdown, making it the second longest such closure. If it goes on just a few more days, it will become the longest. I hope that it won’t.

During this shutdown, the news is full of reports of its already desultory effects. National Parks being trashed and TSA agents calling in sick, primary among them. If this shutdown persists the poor as always will be most affected, with the denial of food and housing aid. It looked like tax refunds would be delayed, but they have now been deemed essential, essential to the administration’s survival.

Speaking of essential, apparently the National Parks workers manning the Old Post Office Tower at the center of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC are just so. Less certain is the fate of a $10,000 pay raise for senior cabinet officials. Lesser rank government employees, even those that are still being paid, already know that there will be no raise for them this year. So, in addition to the unnecessariness of this shutdown, its futility is bolstered by unfairness.

Tonight, in addition to his wall tantrum, our terrible two-year president might declare a national emergency. This end run around Congress, the Constitution and American government is expected to take money from the military and repurpose it to build the wall. It will also ferment a constitutional crisis, end up in the courts and then be halted by injunction, before it can even begin.

Futile, except for one thing. It offers a face-saving opportunity for the Orange Baboon to extricate himself from this mess of his own making. He can claim under this fake emergency that money for his wall has been acquired, declare victory and then allow the government to be reopened. Never mind that none of it will get spent, at least not before 2020. Resist the wall! Resist Trump!

UPDATE: I did not watch or listen to any of the pontificating tonight. There was no national emergency declared. Yeah! It’s still not off the table and is really his only exit strategy. He just didn’t have the courage of his convictions or any convictions to speak of. The inevitably longest shutdown drags on, with a border photo-op up next, followed shortly afterwards, with no-pay Friday. 

Individual 1

Dear God, Please!

I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut
down the government. I will take the mantle. – DJT

We are on the cusp of a government shutdown, after his pro-Russia decisions caused yet another cabinet member to leave the administration, the stock market is crashing because of his stupid trade war and the full extent of his criminality continues to come to light on a daily basis. He doesn’t have enough support for his wall and #TrumpResign is now trending #1 on Twitter.

For a moment I thought that it was really a thing and was actually happening. What a great Christmas present that would be. Imagine my disappointment in learning that it is not true, yet. Can’t we just shutdown the Whitehouse instead?

Earlier this year, in January, we had another brief government shutdown. That one was in part also over the wall. We were visiting the Everglades during it. Contrary to past practice the national parks were not completely closed, just their bathrooms were. On the two days that we were there during the shutdown, we leveraged concessions in the park that were not closed and neither were the bathrooms that they managed. It seems funny that the biggest impact on us to the Federal government shuttering was access to flush toilets, but it was. If this shutdown occurs and lasts through the holidays then anyone flying will also be affected. They will be subject to searches by unpaid TSA agents. I cannot think of anything that would make me more cranky than not to be paid in December and still have to go to work and deal with the crush of holiday travelers.

It was probably just political posturing, but Representative Scott Perry (R), while trying to minimize the impact of this looming shutdown asked, “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?” Well. the answer is about 78% of all working Americans. This statistic is the same for Federal employees. I wonder if the occupant of Mar-a-Lago cares that his Secret Service agents aren’t being paid, while they guard him on the golf course? Especially since today, he tweeted a warning of a very long shutdown. Merry Christmas!

The Smocking Gun

The Smocking Gun

This is a National Emergy! Many people say that my text massages are very well written, but the Fake News distorts everything I say. It is unpresidented. It is such a waist. I have written many best selling books and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write. The worse ones are the WH press core. Their press covfefe was so mean. Thr coverage about me gas been so false and angry. They never treated Barrack Obama the way they do me, even though he tapp me. I am honered to be your 45th President of the United States. This is a roll that I was elected to, even though there were many amoung you who thought that I would loose. My WH council says that because of the special councel, I should not tweet so much. Melanie says the same, but what does she know.