A Republican fought back
Friday June 19th 2020, 10:59 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Trump is a master at getting information he doesn’t want known released late on Friday nights and at providing distractions away from it.

Thus he stunned the city of Tulsa by announcing that no, they were wrong, there would be no curfew after his rally. This is after saying earlier that “his” National Guard would be there fully armed. He clearly wants the “very fine people on both sides” to do their thing–he has all but incited destruction and rioting.

On social media, peaceful protesters were telling each other, it’s a set-up. Don’t go. Or go protest, but somewhere else; don’t engage. Don’t. Go. There.

All of which demands the question, what does Trump not want us to see in the headlines by the ones he’s trying to create?

Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney of New York who once was a Trump donor, has put Michael Cohen in prison and Roger Stone’s about to be and is investigating Giuliani, is investigating where the extra millions paid into Trump’s inaugural committee that vanished got siphoned off to and is surely investigating Trump, too, found himself seeing a press release late tonight saying he’d been fired. Like Preet Bharara before him.

His response? Too bad. You can’t.

Berman was put in as interim US Attorney. A panel of judges later confirmed him. He’s saying he has investigations to continue to lead and he will leave when the Senate duly confirms his replacement per the rule of law and not a moment before. That the President does not have the power to undo what that panel of judges did. Had Trump brought Berman’s name to the Senate for confirmation, yes, but Trump never did, so, no, he’s not resigning and Trump doesn’t have standing to fire him.

He has work to do and he intends to do it.

Who knew that a Trump appointee could have honor, ethics, and the courage of his convictions–and had this in his pocket all this time to fight Trump off? Go Mr. Berman!

No wonder Trump wanted the headlines buried on the subject. He thought Berman would just quietly leave and it would be over.

But this story has only barely gotten started.

Lafayette Square
Tuesday June 02nd 2020, 10:27 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

The Washington Post compiled quotes from people who had been on the scene in Lafayette Square when Trump, wanting to look like a tough guy in charge, had the peaceful protesters attacked. Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper balls, shields hitting the unresisting disbelieving faces of people trying to get away when it wasn’t even curfew time and they had every right to be there assembling peacefully. Which is what they were doing. The article doesn’t even mention the medevac helicopter with the Red Cross insignia that buzzed them, sending tree limbs flying at them and besmirching the name of the Red Cross much less the military.

George W. Bush’s old CIA director couldn’t believe his eyes.

Note how conveniently the Reverend Fisher had been decoyed away from St. Johns so as to be unable to object and mess up that photo op.

A former Under Secretary of Defense, until today on Defense Secretary Espy’s Defense Science Board, firmly resigned effective immediately and made his letter public in order to clarify to the country what is at stake and to empower any colleagues who might be dithering to face up to the wrongs done vs our immediate, obvious, beloved, Constitutional rights.

Day 77: I think the full official lockdown is over today but I didn’t get an official pronouncement
Monday June 01st 2020, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Garden,History,Politics

Biden broke quarantine to get out and talk to protesters and to advocate for peacemaking–and I imagine to protect them, as well, which was sorely needed today in too many places.

In Wichita, on the other hand, the cops and the protesters held a cookout together and talked.

Me, after feeling overwhelmed at 45’s mendacities today, I think I’m going to go post the plum tree my kids planted for me. And this peach.

When a citrus tree is new and vulnerable it sends out thorns to protect itself; once it’s grown, oranges generally don’t have any.

The rootstock on my Page mandarin started taking over and sending up stabbiness and later than I should have, I cut those branches off to protect the health of my tree.

And let me tell you, they are sharp.

The peaches were getting bigger and beginning to be targets and those thorns suddenly showed me why I’d let them grow.

Lockdown day 74: Thank you Colin Kaepernick for showing us how
Friday May 29th 2020, 10:40 pm
Filed under: History,Politics


While the news about George Floyd was everywhere, did you see the police dashcam of the young man in Midland Texas who was driving to his grandmother’s? He was accused of running stop signs–he hadn’t, but the cop behind him had–and after pulling into her driveway found himself facing drawn guns from not one but three cop cars. He raised his hands high over his head, but they ordered him to come over to them. As the guns stayed trained on him.

He wasn’t that stupid! Are you kidding me! He laid down spread-eagled on the ground while they persisted. The kid’s 90-year-old grandmother, barely walking with a cane, came out to be with her grandbaby and fell, and at that age a fall can kill a person.

The kid had done not one thing wrong but they arrested him anyway because, Texas cops.

I didn’t have to tell you what color he was, did I.

Those protests needed to happen, and they need to be peaceful to be the most effective, and most of those protesting were.

In Louisville tonight the cops aimed their rubber bullets directly at the cameras of the reporters covering the event, escalating from the Minneapolis cops’ having arrested the CNN reporter and camera crew live on air–but not the white CNN reporter in the next block.

Journalism. The Constitution. The First Amendment is first because it matters most.

We’ve spent these months quarantining against the possibility of spreading covid deaths, those of us doing it right and wearing masks to protect others agonizing over those who refuse to see, who dare the virus to try to get them. Even while 104,166 of their fellow Americans have died so far of Covid-19 but they don’t care because they don’t believe it can happen to them.

Just like they blame police brutality on its victims. Tell it to that grandmother. She grew up under Jim Crow.

I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to spend every day of your life knowing that you could be killed on impulse at any moment because of the color of your skin–but damn if the worst among racist cops aren’t trying hard to teach me. It took the nineteenth violent episode to get Chauvin off the force, much less accused? George Floyd was not the first to die at his hands.

The children of some old friends participated in the then-peaceful march in Minneapolis and I am very proud of them.

There was a large protest in San Jose today at City Hall, and when one one protester got violent–I note that he was white–the police started to be, too, then started using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd–which started to run–

–and then about twenty of them (if not more out of camera range) stopped. And turned.

And took a knee together in a line before the line of officers.

I hope that picture is on every front page tomorrow.

Lockdown day 19: silver lining edition
Friday April 03rd 2020, 10:23 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Politics

(My Page orange tree.)

I’ve heard others marveling over the same thing I’d noticed: the sudden, stunning absence of spammers that had been calling relentlessly all day long for years.

Their greed apparently finally veered too close to political wounds. Their latest scam had been trying to monetize the coronavirus: the new pitches were for fake testing, fake cures, fake insurance, anything people would be desperate to have in the pandemic that they could make a quick buck over and run.

Which could make the administration look bad, and we can’t have that, so the FCC–you know, the same FCC that under Trump thought that it was peachy fine to let companies both sell and throttle our data, that killed net neutrality–told those guys’ providers that if all overseas robocalls weren’t stopped within two days those American companies that were enabling them would lose all access to American telecom systems. Period.

And in our social distancing isolation, when the phone rings now, it’s actually a call you want to take, and you answer.

It had been that easy all along; the FCC just had had to want to do it.

May we never go back.

Joe ByeDon
Thursday March 12th 2020, 9:45 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

He laid out in detail what should be being done, what will be done under him, and invited Trump to follow up on his suggestions–he didn’t care nor need the credit for it, he just wanted the right thing done.

C-Span link: I’d almost forgotten what it looks like to see someone Presidenting.

Oh right. Oops.
Wednesday March 11th 2020, 9:23 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Politics

“Well, that’s risky,” opined my fellow quarantinee.

And yet, any gangway off the cruise ship, right?

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to save the lives of those critically ill with it–that’s what China’s trying right now, with some success.

But first you have to have tested the earlier patients and documented they have it.

The primary reason
Wednesday February 19th 2020, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Family,Politics

Well, that was a spirited debate. Wow!

So I’m just going to change the subject here and say, it’s all about the world we’re creating for our children and what we want them to live with.

Vote well.


Beyond slogans
Friday February 07th 2020, 11:21 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Watching the debate helped get another 150g cone of merino done towards that afghan.

One moment particularly stood out for me: when Buttiegieg stood up for Joe Biden and spoke of how Trump had for political gain tried hard to turn a son against his father, and a father against his son. Unfathomable.

Biden, taken by surprise, was both grateful and a bit misty for a moment.

When a few minutes later the moderator challenged Sanders with Hilary Clinton’s words about her formal rival, saying that in the Senate, he had no friends, nobody liked him, nobody worked with him, Biden caught the pain in Sanders’ eyes and with his let him know he was okay–and suddenly Biden was reaching towards his old friend and their arms were around each other. Klobuchar joined in the goodwill by talking about bills she and Sanders had worked on together for the good of America and proclaiming him her friend, too.

Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders, Klobuchar: all of them in those moments showed America the graciousness and kindness that we have so missed these last three years.

When they say they want to bring us together–they showed they meant it. They started with each other.

American Lie, not entirely by Don McLean
Saturday February 01st 2020, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Politics

I searched but wasn’t able to find a source for this. It’s from a comment in the Washington Post. (Original version uploaded by Don McLean here.) 


American Lie (The Day Democracy Died)
Source (Another Blogger)

A long, long time ago
I can still remember How democracy used to make me smile
And I knew if we had a choice
Then we could make our nation rejoice
And, maybe, we’d be happy for a while

But January made me shiver
With every vote that Mitch delivered
Bad news from the trial
I couldn’t take one more liar
I can’t remember if I cried
When I heard about T??mp ’s endless bribes
But something touched me deep inside
The day our democracy died

[Chorus] So bye-bye, you American Lie
Took an Uber to the Starbucks,
but the Starbucks was dry
And them Senate boys were talking BS ‘n lies
Singing ..,This’ll be the day democracy dies
This’ll be the day democracy dies

Did you tweet another meme
And did you have faith in the rule of men
If the Constitution told you so
Do you believe in fair elections
Can due process save our mortal soul
And will the march to fascism begin to slow
Well, I know that T??mp ’s in love with power
Cause I watched him tweeting every hour
T??mp ‘s Nazis kicking who they choose
Man they dig those black and blues

I was an idealistic progressive man
With a Drump T??mp Hat and a minivan
But I knew I was out of luck
The day our democracy died

I started singing [Chorus]
Bye-bye, you American Lie … This’ll be the day democracy dies

Now for three years, we’ve been on our own
After hacked emails flowed forth from Roger Stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the news told truth to you and me
Like they did in Nineteen Seventy-Three
With a voice that came from all networks you see

Oh, and while Pelosi was showing a serious frown
The [P] grabber dressed with a MAGA crown
The Senate was adjourned
An acquittal was returned
And while Bolton published a book on T??mp
The Senate put it in the dump
And we smoked “roofers” in the dark
The day our democracy died
We were singing … Bye-bye, you American Lie … This’ll be the day democracy dies, This’ll be the day democracy dies

When you really need a warm comforting blanket
Friday January 31st 2020, 9:57 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Politics

To quote Dana Millbank, who was in the press galley. This was just before the Republicans in the Senate voted to hear no witnesses and see no documents:

‘“Please don’t give up,” manager Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) urged. “This is too important.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) stuck a finger in his left nostril.’


I’m never going to be able to think of this as anything but the impeachment blanket. It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it, but at least I got nearly all of this out of all of that.

Remember 1/31 on 11/3.

(Oh and just for fun, today, with appointments on the calendar for next week, we found out we have our first coronavirus case here. Treated at our medical clinic–just like during SARS, when it was California’s epicenter. Don’t touch the elevator buttons with your fingers, yay for tips of canes, and SARS got them to install hand purifiers at every landing.)

Questions and answers part of the impeachment hearing
Wednesday January 29th 2020, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Food,History,Politics

Hours and hours of afghan rows as I watched.

Alan Dershowitz does the finger jabbing and the emphatic hands splayed, arms wide circular motions that darn if it didn’t make him look like a Bernie Sanders body double.

What came out of his mouth was utter nonsense. The President can do nothing wrong if he’s running for reelection because he thinks it’s for the good of the country and l’etat c’est moi and all that. (Yeah, that worked out so well for Napoleon and Nixon.) Truly: the President’s lawyers all argued that because he was the President he could do no wrong nor could he be held accountable in any way, including impeachment, ever. They waved away that whole pesky Constitution thing.

Adam Schiff was professional, smart as a whip, knew his stuff, and calmly went straight to the point, again and again. The others on his team were good but man he really nailed it each time. I fully expect him to be President someday, and we will be much better off for it when that happens.

And this was yesterday, but Mitt Romney broke the rules in the most rebellious-teenage-Mormon way possible: by both tradition and current decree, only water or milk in glasses may be drunk on the Senate floor during the proceedings.

He got an order flown in in dry ice from BYU Creamery and got caught drinking chocolate milk. From their bottle. (Product placement for his alma mater and all that for the old businessman.) Not exactly the letter of the law but with that triumphant grin that mothers of high schoolers everywhere know well.

So busted.

Trial by foyer
Friday January 24th 2020, 11:53 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Politics

All those Senators risking, as is stated at the beginning of each session, imprisonment for leaving the chambers during the proceedings–it’s been reported that quite a few of the Republican ones have been wandering out to the cloakroom. They say it’s hard to sit still. They say the chairs aren’t ergonomic.

Well, okay, so the proceedings do go on and on, sure.

But didn’t you guys bring your knitting? I mean, look at this–I had all of half a diamond done on this when the trial started. My grandmother-in-law knit a wool herringbone jacket during long Congressional hearings where her husband was being grilled years ago. (He was head of a government agency, it came with the job.)

You can’t make anything with fidget spinners, guys!

Next year every day in the White House won’t be worse
Thursday January 16th 2020, 12:14 am
Filed under: History,Politics

Parnas, with notes, singing to the prosecutor about a Republican congressional candidate’s offer to him to do what sounds very much a literal hit job on Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch for her determination to do her job right–the guy was stalking her physically and electronically and knew when her phone was off so she wouldn’t be able to call for help. Swearing that Trump knew every detail of all that he was saying. It gives fresh malevolence to Trump’s warning, “Maybe something bad’s going to happen to her” if she didn’t flee Ukraine immediately. Which she did.

The trial. Only the CNN camera will be allowed (because McConnell can’t get away with ditching that one.) Most reporters’ seats are being taken away and given to Senate family members. The lights are to be kept low as one approaches and no cameras or phones allowed near the chambers, much less in. Secrecy and darkness.

So very McConnellized.

But in the end he cannot gerrymander his fellow Senators.

I still hold out some hope that enough of them still have a conscience somewhere within them. History will hold them accountable, and you better believe, so will we.

When the country erupts in celebration at the conviction, all those Senators now hiding their views will be sure to point out that they’re the ones who get the credit.

Over in the guest room
Saturday January 11th 2020, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Politics

After the scouring to get the mill oils out. I get to tell the new parents that it’s already been washed in water too hot to touch.

The answer to the lace pattern pulling the edge pieces upwards after the cast-on: run in the ends only through there, and then again from the other direction. Weigh them down, add the bulk, it’ll straighten them out and make them stay straight–and they did.

And while I was doing that I worked on the back of the join areas to tug down anything sticking out and it worked. Nice and straight now all around.

I didn’t get a good picture of any of that but I did manage to capture the damp afghan in direct afternoon sunlight.

On a political note, should you be interested, my cousin Jim, formerly a Republican and definitely far to the right of me, had a few things to say.