Tuesday: Hili dialogue

July 24, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s Tuesday, the cruelest day: July 24, 2018, and National Tequila Day. I’ll pass.

Dog bites man news o’ the day: Trump is increasingly unhinged, now going into Crazy Capslock mode about Iran:

I wish he’d be found guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and then impeached. But then we’d have Pence as President, probably a marginal but unsatisfactory improvement. Seriously, my beloved readers, tell me who is a VIABLE Democratic candidate for the next Presidential election. And I mean “viable” as “someone who has a good chance of being elected.”

On this day in 1304, in the Wars of Scottish Independence, Stirling Castle fell to the English under King Edward I of England. The key to success was the amazing catapult the War Wolf (read about it at the link), a catapult called the “trebuchet”. Look at this amazing reconstruction; it was quite a feat of medieval engineering:

On this day in 1847, after 17 months on the road, Brigham young and 148 Mormon pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley, proclaimed it the Place to Be, and soon founded Salt Lake City. On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu in Peru.  24 years later, the heat wave that caused the Dust Bowl peaked, with temperatures reaching 109 °F (43 °C) in Chicago and 104 °F (40 °C) in Milwaukee. On this day in 1959, at the opening of the American National Exhibition, Vice-President Richard Nixon got into a rancorous “Kitchen Debate” in public. On July 24, 1969, the Moon landing mission Apollo 11 safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Five years later, the Supreme Court ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over the “Watergate tapes” that he had withheld from the Watergate special prosecutor. It was the beginning of the end for Tricky Dick. Finally, on this day in 1987, the American mountaineer Hulda Crooks, a 91 year old woman, climbed Mt. Fuji. She thus became the oldest person to climb Japan’s highest peak.

Notables born on this day include Simón Bolivar (1783), Alphonse Mucha (1860), Robert Graves (1895), Amelia Earhart (1897), Bella Abzug (1920), Lynda Carter (1951) and Barry Bonds (1964). Those who died on this day include Martin van Buren (1862), Peter Sellers (1980), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1991), and sexologist Virginia E. Johnson (2013). Mucha created some wonderful Art Nouveau advertising posters; here’s one selling champagne:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Elzbieta is spoiling Cyrus and Hili with treats again.

A: I’m afraid somebody here is spoiling you.
Hili: Don’t butt in, we are busy with serious matters.
In Polish:
Ja: Obawiam się, że ktoś cię rozpuszcza.
Hili: Nie wtrącaj się, zajmujemy się poważnymi sprawami.

Some tweets from Matthew:

A punctilious ferret mother:

and a friendly kingfisher:

Look at this insect! (You can get the tweet translated using your browser.)

A familiar physics demonstration:

Is this pigeon really enjoying itself?

From Grania. First, “a story in two acts”. Look at that greedy cueball; but other news suggests he wasn’t as odious as this video makes him look:


And the reparations:

Oy! No Swiss rolls for the staff today!


Somebody needs to contact W.H. Smith about its “signage”:

Muhammad reportedly had a similar dilemma with his cat Muezza.

I have no idea what’s going on here except that there’s a Ninja Owl:


Finally, a GIF sent by reader Su. Look at the athleticism of that cat!

104 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

      1. One of the great things about cats is how sweet they can be to you, while being murderous terrors in the wild. My first cat, who was the sweetest cat I’ve ever known (he would sit with you and sleep with you everywhere, babies could pull his tail, we could give him baths, you could do anything he didn’t like and he would still want to sit on your lap and purr, never scratched or bit or hissed at anyone), was also responsible for the chipmunk genocide of 1997. And 1999. And 2003. He killed bunnies, birds, chipmunks, squirrels, moles, and others. He would fight local dogs three times his size and beat every one of them. Sometimes he would stay out for three days and come back with a few scratch marks, which meant he beat the crap out of something bigger than him. I saw him take on a few raccoons once.

        It’s a remarkable dichotomy contained within one animal.

        1. When I was young, I had a great desire to pet a tiger at least once in my life. Their incredible power, beauty, majesty couple with their brutal and ferocious nature really appeals. But, like all the other hopes and dreams, that’s never going to happen. But lately I find I can console myself in knowing that my late dear kitty was just as powerful, beautiful and majestic as any tiger. Also just as ferocious and as brutal, especially to rodents of limited size. That’s all it; a matter of size. They don’t eat us because we’re so much bigger than them.

          1. I think they don’t eat us because they’ve been bred for friendliness toward humans. Cats often get along with other cats of their size, or dogs, or other pets/animals.

  1. … tell me who is a VIABLE Democratic candidate for the next Presidential election.

    Almost any candidate the Democrats could field. Even with all the help he got from Vlad and the Russians, Donald Trump still managed to lose the 2016 popular vote by 3 million ballots, and won the three key swing states in the electoral college — PA, MI & WI — by a combined total of 77,000 votes (out of 135 million cast). He’s been a disaster in office, an utter embarrassment to our nation, and has remained substantially underwater in popularity polls since his first week in office. Unlike every one of his predecessors, he’s done nothing at all to broaden his appeal since taking office, only played to his base. I don’t think people appreciate how unprecedented in our 57-presidential-election history it would be for Trump to be reelected under such circumstances (even assuming he makes it to the end of his first term).

    I think Biden or Warren or any number of other Democrats could beat him soundly, especially if the nation can prevent the Russians from attacking our democracy again. But I would prefer that some young blood rise to revitalize the Party. Still, it’s too early for a new face to peak, at least until after the midterms. Recall that no one was thinking of Barack as anything but a fresh new face with a bright but distant future at this stage of the 2006 electoral cycle.

    1. Warren and a reinstated Al Franken are the two I would most support, but I am unsure if they are viable.

      The Democrats need to thoroughly disassociate themselves from the Clintons.

    2. As an outsider, and thinking about who would be most likely to win over Trump supporters and effectively deal with him in the election run(which I’m not sure is the best way of considering candidates but I digress), Joe Biden seems about as good as it gets. He’s sufficiently blue-collar, sufficiently tough against Trump, not too far left, progressive on the issues that matter and an apparently decent human being.
      Downsides seem to be that he’s quite bumbling, makes frequent mistakes in his speech, and is, in spite of seeming the toughest candidate still isn’t sufficiently ready to punch back at Trump on his level. Which I think needs to be done now and then at least.

      It seems to me like the liberal-left are still struggling to figure out how to approach the new world of Trump and Brexit and the populists. They’re very slowly turning, like a huge battleship, but at the moment the crew’s running in all different directions and spraying fire extinguishers at one another.

      1. I agree about Joe Biden’s appeal, but at 75 he’s probably too old. Time for the Dems to clear out the alter kockers, let in some fresh blood.

        1. Forget winning over Trump supporters – everyone who would still vote for him at this point can and must not not be appeased. Find someone who can actually get the millions and millions of nonvoters out of their apathy and you win. My guess is that this would be someone who’s not an established centrist candidate

        2. I’ve got an instincual revulsion to this idea that we need to kick out all the oldies. Not barring new talent is one thing, but whether it comes from liberals complaining that their candidates are too old or conservatives grousing about “career politicians” it seems like politics is the one field in which experience is held in open disdain.

          Well let’s look at how our recent stint with an “outsider” candidate who couldn’t tell his ass from his elbow has gone. Not great. By all means let the new blood outcompete the old on the strength of heir policies. But if they need a handicap or for the competition to actively be made to step out of the way for them to win, they probably shouldn’t be playing.

    3. I agree with your analysis. We should not get overconfident, but any reasonable Democrat should stand an excellent chance of beating Trump. However, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders should not be that candidate. The Democratic Party needs to be led by young blood, not by an old person, where the Party’s vice-presidential nominee could be more important than the presidential one. I hope that the elections in this November will see the emergence of young, liberal (but no so liberal as to scare off moderates) potential candidates since these people do not exist presently.

      One of the potential pitfalls that the Democratic Party is facing that it is being riven by distrust, bordering on contempt, between its centrist and leftist wings as this article from New York Magazine explains:


      To my disappointment, the Clinton wing stills has a lot of influence within the Party. Although Hillary will not run again, if a clone is nominated, the chances for victory will be reduced. The trick will be to find a candidate acceptable to both wings. If this cannot be accomplished and the Party remains split, Trump could have an opening. What a disaster it would be if the Democrats blow another election.

      One thing is for sure. Democrats will be wasting time and money by trying to win over Trump voters, whose cult like loyalty to him remains unshaken. The key to a Democratic victory is increasing turnout. A Party divided will have difficulty accomplishing this. The stakes are enormous. Trump must be defeated for so many reasons. As conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan puts it regard to Trump’s so-called foreign policy:

      “This is not treason as such. It is not an attack on America, but on a version of America, the liberal democratic one, supported by one of the great parties in America. It is an attack on those institutions that Trump believes hurt America — like NATO and NAFTA and the E.U. It is a championing of an illiberal America, and a partnering with autocrats in a replay of old-school Great Power zero-sum politics, in which the strong pummel and exploit the weak. Trump is simultaneously vandalizing the West, while slowly building a strongman alliance that rejects every single Western value. And Russia — authoritarian, ethnically homogeneous, internally brutal, internationally rogue — is at its center. That’s the real story of the last week, and at this point, it isn’t even faintly news.”


        1. It is not a question of ageism. The leader of the country should not be a person whose age would make it far from unlikely that he or she at any moment could die or be severely incapacitated (including deterioration of mental abilities).

        2. Joe Biden would be 77 years old at the time of his inauguration, 85 by the end of his presidency if he were to serve two full terms. Before Trump, our oldest president was Reagan, who’d certainly lost a few steps by the end. If — heaven forfend! — Trump were to be elected to a second term he’ll be 78 during his last year in office (and he sure doesn’t have any steps to give away in the mental acuity department).

          The presidency isn’t necessarily a young man’s game. But it’s a demanding job if it’s done anywhere near right, and it tends to age those who hold it two years for every one served in office. (Just check out these before-and-after pics.) What I’m saying is that it might be prudent for anyone well north of 70 to hesitate before jumping in the race.

          Plus, the Party would benefit politically, I think, from an infusion of fresh blood.

          1. I think it’s a bad idea for anyone much over 50. However, some people age faster, both mentally and physically than others. With Trump I don’t see that it makes any difference.

        3. It may be so, but : aren’t young people one of the demographics who don’t vote?

          Now, the young *can* see the appeal of someone much older, but there is still the “I want a person like me” type thing.

          (Confound is the constitutional age requirement on the President, but that’s not *so* bad. We’re not talking Plato’s [male] guardians ;))

      1. Maybe they could get Jeff Flake to convert to the sanity party and run. I’m sure he would kick Trump’s butt.

    4. I admire your optimism, but I seem to recall that, everybody was pretty optimistic that Trump wouldn’t get through the primaries and he wouldn’t win the the last election, but here we are.

      Trump’s approval rating is currently hovering around 42%, even after a disastrous summit with Putin. For reference, both Reagan and Clinton had approval ratings only slightly higher t this point in their presidency. I really don’t think it would take much to swing things so Trump gets his second term.

      1. If Trump survives the Mueller investigation, the economy is still humming along, and North Korea really does begin to denuclearize, I predict he will win again. Add to that some kind of deal with the Russians on Syria, Iran isolated, and a better trade deal with China and the general public will not care about his corrupttion ow what Putin has on him.

        1. If Trump survives the Mueller investigation is a huge if, the economy is on shaky grounds and wait until the new healthcare premiums and tariffs kick in, NK will never denuclearize (name a realistic scenario in which they would?). He hasn’t gained any new supporters since his election, the republican party has contracted under his presidency and all evidence to the contrary that a good economy means the general public will not care about his corruption or what Putin has on him. His popularity has dipped since the Helsinki fiasco. Only his deluded (and small) base doesn’t care about collusion; there simply aren’t enough of them to win an election.

          The only way I see him winning is if something horrific happens…like a massive terrorist attack in the U.S. or some unforeseen act of aggression towards the U.S. by another country.

          1. Will see how the midterms shake out. Hope you are right. I just talk to regular folks and am amazed they still love this guy. Not scientific, just reports from the field. Fox news is still really popular among the masses.

    5. Sounds hopeful, Ken. I wish I shared your optimism. I do not. I predict that should Trump run again, the dems will assume they’ll win, they’ll act like it and the baskets of deplorables will sink them again. I also predict that they will not regain control of either house this year.

      If Trump doesn’t run in 2020 (hopefully because he’s in jail) the dems will still field a candidate fully capable of losing.

      1. I agree except the House could flip..I doubt the Senate. If the House does not flip, I think the Mueller report will be DOA. It could be very demoaralizing for the Dems. I think there are more silent Trump supporters out there now than the last election. Scary. Even scarier, I don’t think they care that much about the Mueller investigation.

        1. Today, Quinnipiac has Trump below 40% approval again…38-58 – down 5 points from a month ago; the Helsinki summit and its aftermath was clearly a disaster. At this point, 54% of voters believe the investigation is legitimate, 40% think it’s a witch hunt. So if Mueller’s findings are DOA by a Republican held congress, there will be hell to pay. Even a higher percentage believe Russia hacked the 2016 election and are concerned it will happen again.

    6. I disagree to an extent. I loathe the guy but so far many of the most dire things have not cone to pass. The economy has not tanked. We have not gone to war with North Korea. Whether the big “meeting” is a sham or not remains to be seen, but the escalation seems to have stopped. ISIS is not too much of a news item recently. I fear there are more “silent” Trump spporters out there than you think. Hope not but the same sentiment that predicted he woukd lose by a landslide seems to still prevail.

    7. Running in Massachusetts, Warren has largely been able to flee from her pathological mendacity and shady past, a luxury she will not enjoy on the national stage.

      1. A pathological mendacity goes with the territory – she’s a politician after all. But a shady past? I do not follow Warren (except in passing). Could you elaborate?

        1. Well-known are her persist lies about her nonexistent American Indian heritage — she continues to claim either be either Cherokee or Cherokee/Delaware, despite a Cherokee genealogist proving she has no Cherokee ancestry, and despite the fact that the three recognized Cherokee nations also require active participation in tribal life — a requirement not met by submitting a James Beard crab dip recipe to a pretendian cook book.

          But her fabulism goes beyond that. One example: she seriously claimed to have been the first nursing mother to pass the NJ state bar. Get this woman speaking extemporaneously, and she will produce some real whoppers.

          Warren claims she never used her claimed Cherokee status for personal gain, yet she listed herself in a hiring guide as native american, and when Harvard hired her, they publicized it as a minority hiring and counted Warren toward their minority quotas.

          Warren also extensively practiced law in MA without a license. She spoke out against the banks exploiting underwater mortgages, yet she and her brother ran a business buying up underwater mortgages then flipping the houses. Harvard pays her c. $300K p/a to teach a single course.

          She gives considerable lip service to fighting the big corporations, yet her extensive litigating record has been exclusively one of working for the big corps against consumers and employees. Indeed, Warren’s specialty is corporate restructuring to avoid liabilities, as when she assisted Dow Corning to separate its assets from its massive silicone breast implant settlement payout, or when she helped a coal conglomerate move its assets to one new corporation, leaving the old corporation penniless and unable to meet pension and black lung compensation obligations. Warren also claimed to have helped bring renewable energy to Louisiana, but in truth merely oversaw the transfer of ownership a coal-fired power plant from one large power company to another (the incidental closing of a nuclear plant providing the flimsy basis for the ‘renewable’ claim). Warren also unsuccessfully represented Piper Aircraft in a liability suit resulting from the death of an entire family in a fatal crash. Warren sought not just to avoid damages in this particular incident, but to have the court shield Piper from any and all future crash-related claims.

          The contrast between her demagoguery and her track record could hardly be greater.

          1. Thanks, Matt, but doesn’t all this fall under “pathological mendacity”? So perhaps “shady past” is redundantly redundant.

          2. BTW, if I have the spoons I might look into some of these things (but, unless and until Warren becomes relevant, I probably won’t).

            I have to say this looks like a lawyer who acted strongly on behalf of her clients (that’s a good thing) and a person who, a long time ago, lied about her heritage (why? did it help her in admissions?). The first is a good thing, to me, anyway; if I ever need a lawyer, I want an advocate who fights for me.

            The second is big “meh”. There are lies and there are LIES. ISTM she has not used that lie to further her political career and (UIAM) has not used it to further her agenda, whatever that is. This puts her kind of lie in a very different category than many politicians lies. It’s a big nothing burger to me. YMMV.

              1. IMO, more is made of this matter than is warranted.

                The myth of Indian ancestry is extremely common among white Americans. I was a feature of my family, too, and if I hadn’t done a bunch of genealogy work myself I’d be passing the myth on to my offspring.

              2. The problem is not that Warren had this common misconception in her family. It’s that: 1) she exploited a putative 1/32nds ancestry, accompanied by no tribal involvement whatsoever, for personal gain; 2) when presented with overwhelming genealogical & historical evidence that her family lore was false, she continued to publicly declare it to be true; 3) she refused to meet with the leading Cherokee genealogist and three tribal representatives.

          3. Reminds me of the fact that was passed down from my mothers side that me and my siblings were 1/16 Native American, mom an 1/8th and so forth. Even old pictures of relatives with a Native American relative in the photo. i do 23andMe and my one sister Ancestry.com…no Native American. Apparently, it is very common. The stories get told and retold but are not accurate!

            1. Oh, and my one sister and I are very dark skinned…which is supposed to be less than 1% chance.

              1. And I didn’t think I was lyimg..glad I am not a politician, I would have been redidicued.

            2. Families are like that. Hell, family lore on my mother’s side has it that the family name is derived from William Clark — Meriwether Lewis’s partner in the Corps-of-Discovery expedition. I’ve no freakin’ clue if any of it’s true, but when we get together with my cousins, a couple drinks in, we usually give the guy a toast. 🙂

            3. Warren got the story from her spinster aunt, who pointed to a photo of Warren’s grandfather and his “high cheek bones”. Warren doggedly & publicly stuck with her claim, despite conclusive genealogical evidence that she had zero native american ancestry.

              Indian tribes are nations, and members are citizens. Some tribes have blood quantum requirements, others do not. The universal requirement, however, is active participation in tribal community.

              So even possessing some american indian blood is not the same as belong to a particular tribe. Making such claims — which are often parlayed into attempts to gain government assistance or gaming concessions by dodgy local ‘tribes’ — undermines & threatens the legitimate needs & claims of federally-recognized tribes and their authentic members.
              When Warren ran for senate, four Cherokees, including genealogist Twila Barnes, asked to meet with Warren to discuss this important point. She rebuffed them. (NB: of the four, three were registered Democrats, one a liberal independent.)

          4. “The contrast between her demagoguery and her track record could hardly be greater.”

            Strikes me as a bit hyperbolic. I don’t approve of any of it, of course, but you really think it would be disqualifying against Donald Trump of all people — a pathological liar and scam artist who’s made a career out of the long con, busted-out condominium projects, failed casinos, mob ties, and washing money for Russian oligarchs?

            1. 1) It disqualifies her for me. We’ve got someone in the WH living in their own alternate reality – we don’t need another;

              2) After a trivial email server issue completely overshadowed pussy-grabbing and the sordid deeds you enumerate and more, do you really think ‘Fauxahontas’ won’t be a winner?

              The Dems seem incapable of comprehending human nature, and more specifically, what drives voting decisions.

    8. an utter embarrassment to our nation

      Oh, I don’t know about that. Trevor Noah remarked on something that resonated with me. When Obama visited South Africa he did not need to tell who the liar was when he discussed that politicians today are allowed to double down.

      That got me thinking. What face am I now, and forever, associating with an obvious liar, I had no good example before?

      Well, “Dicky” Trump of course!

    9. He’s not ready for the Presidency yet, but after governing California (hopefully successfully) Gavin Newsom would make a terrific Democratic candidate imo. He’s 50 now so has plenty of time. I’ve heard him speak on many occasions; he is articulate, charismatic and understands progressive values.

    10. Why is it that no one has mentioned Mitch Landrieu? Any chance john kasich will get support as the republican nominee? He’s a breath of fresh air comared to trump.

  2. The viable Democratic candidate for President will be the person who wins the nomination. Too early to know who that will be, but it will be someone!

  3. Reading some stories by Isaac Bachevis Singer in her late 70s seems to have cured my grandmother of her low-voltage anti-Semitism. (Plus seeing the film of “Fiddler on the Roof” which she thought were based on his stories but is actually based on stories by Scholem Aleichim).
    It had recently become a bone of contention because when I was 25, she discovered I had attended a predominantly Jewish public high school and had dated 3 Jewish girls during the time. In the course of a reasonably calm debate, I recommneded Singer’s stories to her, and after reading them, she conceded my point of view.

    There is hope.

  4. I would agree with Ken above but include, it does not matter and we are more than two years away from that event. Better to concentrate on the election to be held in another 105 days and take over the congress. I do not think Trump will last very long after that one because he is guilty as hell and he will have only his followers.

    Even his lashing out at Iran is just another diversion that goes nowhere. The Mueller trial begins in a few days and Cohen will be in full flip mode soon. This outburst by Trump is what he does when the heat is up. He knows more than we do that his days are numbered. Like they say, keep your seat belts fastened.

    1. Do you think the Senate will flip? I am in Mo and predict that seat will flip from Democrat to Republican.

      1. I do think it is very likely because there are many republicans calling it quits. But also because we still have 100 plus more days for things to happen in the investigation and for Trump to do some more really stupid things. I see that all of the followers here at this site simply parrot the post and want to talk about 2020. That is fine if they want to do this, worry about something more than 2 years away but I don’t see that far. Maybe I’m stupid but this next election and the Mueller investigation are much more important at this time. It seems that everyone here has given up or has no concern for the investigation and that is to bad. Democrats and liberals have a bad habit of not seeing the forest for the trees. Turning Trump voters is not the idea, it is getting the other 60 percent to vote and do it at this next election.

        1. Sorry, I should also have said – for you in Missouri, you have to get big turn out in the next elections from the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. Get those people registered and voting. The rest of the state is just a loss.

  5. I was going to quibble that War Wolf was not a catapult but a trebuchet. However Wikipedia seems to class trebuchets as being one sort of catapult.

    The trebuchet in the linked video doesn’t have wheels. Some reconstructions of War Wolf seem to feature wheels, though not always in a credible location. If the trebuchet is constructed on firm enough ground, putting it on wheels actually reduces the stresses on firing (thus making it less likely to shake itself to pieces) and increases its range. When ‘fired’, it actually rolls forward (this is counter-intuitive), because the massive weight tries to drop vertically which pulls the machine forwards – this naturally adds velocity to the top of the arm.

    The sling, of course, also adds a lot of velocity compared with the rather primitive bucket-on-the-end-of-the-arm depicted in a number of old movies.


    1. It’s nice to find another trebuchet geek here!

      I’m off to fix Wikipedia’s insult of grouping the greatest siege weapon with mere catapults.

  6. I do rather fear for the people of Iran (and, in fact, any medium-sized nation that doesn’t grovel to the United States). The Drumpf may yet notice that one sure way to curry popular patriotism and increase his chances of re-election is to start a war on somebody. It worked for Dubya. And now that North Korea is apparently off the menu for the moment, who’s left?

    However unsatisfactory Iran’s current government is, ‘liberating’ the country Iraq-style can only ever make things worse.


    1. It’s a mistake to assume the circumstances of nearly two decades ago are they circumstances of today. Americans are weary of war, and polls suggest less than a fifth of the country would be in favor of war with Iran unless they attacked us first. Starting an unprovoked war wouldn’t buoy Trump’s popularity the way it did for Bush. He also couldn’t rely on being able to fudge intelligence as a justification because he’s made enemies of the intelligence community and cast severe doubts on their credibility in the eyes of his own supporters.

        1. I’d call this extremely improbable for similar reasons as potential intelligence fudging: Nobody in government likes Trump or wants to cooperate with him more than they have to. Republicans only go along with the guy so their base doesn’t eat them alive.

          I also think that trying to arrange any kind of big government conspiracy while you’re under active investigation might be a move too stupid even for him. But being stupid enough to try would preclude being smart enough to not get caught.

  7. Re that gif of the kitteh going vertically up the fence, his name is Lloyd and he belongs to – sorry, his staff are the Slow-mo Guys. He’s even more impressive in higher definition and really slow motion.


    What I find amazing is how he gets traction with his back paws without, apparently, invoking Newton’s third law and bouncing backwards off the fence.


    1. We have a chain link fence about that height around the pool. My first cat didn’t run up the fence; he would jump from a standing position and land right on top of the 1.5 inch wide, rounded top of it and just sit there. Same thing with our 6′ refrigerator. He had a crazy vertical.

      In other words, Lloyd ain’t nothin’ compared to mah boy.

  8. With regard to the trebuchet. Not sure that you would call it a feat of medieval engineering. By that time it was old hat, having been in use since about 400 BC.

  9. Rahm Emanuel
    Cory Booker
    Kamala Harris

    Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden should’ve run in 2016. Their age will be used against them in 2020.

    Though your focus should 2018, get the house back and try for a senate majority and you’ll control the damage trump can do.

      1. Yes, Rahm will almost certainly not run and would have zero chance of getting the nomination if he should choose to do so. And, as you say, he will have a tough time getting re-elected as mayor of Chicago.

    1. Your list contains one of the most reviled personalities in Dem politics, plus two relatively inexperienced upstarts, the one an empty demagogue, the other a caustic provocateur.

    1. “In fact, the man gave several balls to children in the same section and his wife as an anniversary present. We hope this first experience won’t ruin his trip to Chicago and Wrigley Field and we invite him to come back soon.”

      I’m sure it won’t sour him on Chicago or Wrigley, but just humanity in general.

  10. Pence would be worse than Trump in many ways since he could unite Republicans to carry out even more of their anti-democratic agenda. I’m assuming that Trump will not start a war with Iran that would make the Iraq war seem a lark by comparison.

    1. Republicans are nothing if not “united” in service of their Dear Orange Leader. Pence could not unite them more than they already are.

  11. On who could beat Trump: don’t forget it is possible that a Republican or two could stand up and challenge Trumps’ nomination for reelection. He could lose to a challenger in his own party in the primaries.

  12. Next tweet:


  13. As a long time Republican whose party has been taken over by the far right religious crazies and Trump’s lap dogs, I find myself isolated in the middle between the “new” Republicans and a growing Democratic far left. There are a number of candidates from both parties in the middle who probably don’t have a “snowballs chance in hell” of prevailing in a presidential election, but ones I’d consider supporting. They include Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and Christine Todd Whitman from New Jersey. They would make a good team.

    1. If the Dems and GOP cannot break free of their respective extremist wings, then it’s
      clearly time for new parties to form closer to the center.

      A centrist independent candidate for president, free of the need to toe any extremist line, would surely do well.

    2. As someone who has voted Dem in every election in which I’ve participated (except for some local ones, where party affiliation never matters), I find myself stuck in the middle now as well. If Rand Paul had been the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016, I would have voted for him, which would have marked the first time I ever voted Republican. Unfortunately, I’ve lost enormous respect for and confidence in Paul because of his behavior over the last week. I can’t think of any potential Republican nominees I would wish to vote for now, and I can think of few Democrats. I would have supported Biden if he had run in 2016, but still begrudgingly (though I would have been far happier to vote for him over Hillary).

  14. Pence is vile, but he is stable and predictable. trump is erratic and thrives on generating chaos. He is a direct and constant threat to national security.

    Further, Pence would have little chance of being reelected.

  15. Kirsten Gillibrand will run in 2020, and she will destroy anything that stands in her path, including her fellow dems and the very Dem party itself.

  16. Also of note: “civil engineering” takes its name as opposite to “military engineering”. So we owe our folks who work the design of pipes and roads to a contrast with that trebuchet. 🙂

    1. Except that, originally, many roads and bridges were constructed for military purposes. In the days of the trebuchet, it would have been designed by an ‘engineer’, I guess.

      These days, a bridge would be designed by a ‘civil engineer’ (or a structural engineer, which is a subset of civil) even if it was specifically for the Army. ‘Civil’ as opposed to ‘mechanical’.

      “In the 18th century, the term civil engineering was coined to incorporate all things civilian as opposed to military engineering. The first self-proclaimed civil engineer was John Smeaton, who constructed the Eddystone Lighthouse.” And that included mechanical engineering, until the Institution of Mechanical Engineers was founded.

      I think a trebuchet would now count as ‘mechanical’, and trebuchets do involve some quite complex dynamics.

      As with all such categories, there’s always an overlap.


  17. I’ve posted this before but maybe it’s worth repeating, Kevin o’Leary, a host on Shark Tank. thinks the Dems will nominate former HP ceo Meg Whitman as their candidate. Never mind that she just ran as a Republican against Jerry (Gov Moonbeam) Brown for CA governor and lost. O’Leary thinks she could give Trump a real trouncing in any debate on any subject including business (I don’t know what her stand on abortion is).

    Kevin o’Leary is known as Mr Wonderful on his show. Now guys, I want you to get that dirty thought right out of your evil minds. He says, the ladies call him Mr. Wonderful because of all the cash he’s willing to put up for business proposals on his show he’s willing to back. That’s the sole reason. Got that?

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