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. 

Mueller Friday

Plasma Globe

To kick off the day, the ether was flooded with a fusillade of typo-ridden tweets. The markets chorused in with another day long rout. Fox & Friends is now at the UN. Former Secretary of State Tillerson had less than kind things to say about our illiterate President, who in turn went full third-grader, calling Rex a dumb and lazy box of rocks. All of this was merely preamble to the witching hour. Tension within Individual 1 must have continued to build throughout the day. The first shoe to drop occurred in NYC, where long time fixer Cohen had the book thrown at him, with only “a modest downward variance” in sentencing guidance. This un-redacted document should provide plenty of grist for days yet to come. All this and still no word yet on Manafort, the other shoe. A judge has already said that this document will likely be held mainly secret, like Flynn’s.

What to Cook Today?

The Colby Room

Yesterday’s roasted broccoli and fennel soup turned out quite well. This dish is vegetarian and almost vegan, except for the parmesan sprinkled garnish. I’ve juxtaposed this news with a picture from our travels of the Colby Room. 

The Colby Room, at the Boston Science Museum is a re-creation of Col. Francis T. Colby’s den in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Like a snapshot in time, the room contains original artifacts and animals representing both the life travels of Colby and the mindset of his generation. Inside the room are pelts, mounted heads, horns, and antlers. African artwork adorns the walls and tables, while shields and spears frame the gigantic fireplace in the back. The side walls are lined with a collection of guns. These items were collected in the early 20th-century.

Today, Colby represents a dangerous anachronism. A self-styled soldier of fortune, he is emblematic of a type of thinking that has almost faded from general acceptance, almost, but not quite. Many of the animals displayed are now near extinction, but most are still hunted. The environmental irreverence that was also birthed along with the industrial revolution of his generation has grown ever more dangerous. Manmade climate change now rockets us towards oblivion like a runaway train. Still, deniers question the evidence that is plain for all to see, as if humans too cannot be confined to the dustbin of history. We need to act on the issue of global warming, else ours will be the cooked goose.