Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s Saturday, January  18, 2020, and National Gourmet Coffee Day (I buy my beans at Trader Joe’s, which seems to me the best value in high-quality fair trade coffee). It’s also National Peking Duck Day, which once again is cultural appropriation because that is a genuine Chinese dish. In fact, it should be called “Beijing Duck Day.” Finally, it’s Winnie the Pooh Day, celebrating the birthday of creator A. A. Milne in 1882. Here’s Milne at 40:

If you’ve read the Winnie the Pooh books, it’s likely that you identify with one of the characters. Can you guess my Pooh “spirit animal”? Answer below the fold.

Finally, it’s also the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, but there’s no need to care about that since prayer doesn’t work and Christianity is disappearing anyway.

News of the day: Donald Trump has added both Ken Starr (independent counsel in Clinton’s impeachment trial whose investigations led to that episode) and Alan Dershowitz to his legal team in Trump’s impeachment proceedings. Dershowitz has really jumped the rails in the last few decades; I suspect he just loves public attention. And Clinton’s people are still after Starr:

 “Whether it was representing Big Tobacco, obsessing about President Clinton’s sex life or disgracing himself in the Baylor rape scandal, Ken Starr has always been on the wrong side of history, ethics, and common decency,” said Paul Begala, a former White House counselor to Mr. Clinton. “He is therefore the perfect lawyer for Donald Trump.”

On a lighter note,somewhere in America a Magellanic penguin helped a sailor propose to his girlfriend (h/t: GInger K.)

Stuff that happened on January 18 includes:

  • 1486 – King Henry VII of England marries Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV uniting the House of Lancaster and the House of York.
  • 1778 – James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the “Sandwich Islands”.

No, Cook did not find the Polynesians eating hoagies. The islands were named after John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich. However, Montagu is said to have invented the sandwich.

  • 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from Great Britain to Australia arrive at Botany Bay.
  • 1896 – An X-ray generating machine is exhibited for the first time by H. L. Smith.
  • 1919 – World War I: The Paris Peace Conference opens in Versailles, France.
  • 1919 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski becomes Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland.
  • 1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • 1967 – Albert DeSalvo, the “Boston Strangler“, is convicted of numerous crimes and is sentenced to life imprisonment.

DeSalvo is said to have killed 13 women, and pleaded guilty, after which he was sentenced to life without parole. DeSalvo was stabbed to death in prison in 1973.

  • 1977 – Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.
  • 1990 – Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
  • 1993 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time in all 50 states.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1782 – Daniel Webster, American lawyer and politician, 14th United States Secretary of State (d. 1852)
  • 1880 – Paul Ehrenfest, Austrian-Dutch physicist and academic (d. 1933)
  • 1882 – A. A. Milne, English author, poet, and playwright (d. 1956)
  • 1892 – Oliver Hardy, American actor and comedian (d. 1957)
  • 1904 – Cary Grant, English-American actor (d. 1986) [JAC: real name was Archibald Leach]
  • 1911 – Danny Kaye, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1987)
  • 1941 – David Ruffin, American singer (The Temptations) (d. 1991)
  • 1952 – Michael Behe, American biochemist, author, and academic

Kaye was a remarkable talent: he could sing, dance, act, and make people laugh. Here he is playing Hans Christian Andersen in the eponymous film. (He was Jewish and his birth name was David Daniel Kaminsky.)

As for Behe, who has wasted his life promulgating Intelligent Design (his last book was a flop), this statement still appears on the site of Lehigh University’s Department of Biological Sciences, where Behe works:

That caveat, of course, is there to let prospective students know that he’s the lone loon in the Department, so that the students won’t be deterred from coming to Lehigh.

Those who expired on January 18 include:

  • 1862 – John Tyler, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 10th President of the United States (b. 1790)
  • 1936 – Rudyard Kipling, English author and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
  • 1952 – Curly Howard, American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1989 – Bruce Chatwin, English-French author (b. 1940)
  • 2011 – Sargent Shriver, American politician and diplomat, 21st United States Ambassador to France (b. 1915)
  • 2016 – Glenn Frey, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1948)

Here’s what I consider Frey’s greatest song, and the live performance is stunning.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is checking out the human loo. She is not impressed.

Hili: I’ve never understood your litter box.
A: Some cats know how to use it.
Hili: It’s not natural.
In Polish:
Hili: Nigdy nie rozumiałam tej waszej kuwety.
Ja: Niektóre koty potrafią z niej korzystać.
Hili: To nie jest naturalne.
And in nearby Wloclawek, Leon and Mietek are cuddling. What a wonderful relationship! (Mietek, by the way, is completely better.)
Leon: Are you already asleep, young one?

In Polish: Leon: Ty już śpisz, Młody?

I posted this on my Facebook page 9 years ago yesterday. I still think it’s darkly hilarious:

This picture, posted by Diana MacPherson on her Facebook page, is also very good:

From Amazing Life via reader Rick: a gorgeous Bengal kitten, apparently named “Bear”. This is the kitten I want, or one just like him:

Titania’s latest tweet, which is pretty much on the mark for the Woke Left:

A tweet I made featuring a story from reader Jacques Hausser:

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. First, Mrs. Lumpy the badger eats an egg:

A panoply of starfish tuchases:

Four tweets from Matthew. Can you see the angry duck?

 

Sound up on this one. I’m not sure, though, that these skillful hackeysackers are being “casual”.

A nice animation about how ticks bite and suck, from a recent paper in Nature Scientific Reports. The abstract:

Here, we propose for the first time an animated model of the orchestration of the tick mouthparts and associated structures during blood meal acquisition and salivation. These two actions are known to alternate during tick engorgement. Specifically, our attention has been paid to the mechanism underlining the blood meal uptake into the pharynx through the mouth  and how ticks prevent mixing the uptaken blood with secreted saliva. We animated function of muscles attached to the salivarium and their possible opening /closing of the salivarium, with a plausible explanation of the movement of saliva within the salivarium and massive outpouring of saliva.

For those of you with horse benches, you might want to consider a replacement:

Click on “read more” for the answer to see my Pooh spirit animal:

It’s the lugubrious Eeyore!

74 Comments

  1. Rick Bannister
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Oops, I think you will find that it was Donald O’Connor, not Danny Kaye, flirting and dancing with a mannequin in “Singin’ in the Rain”. One of my all time favourite movies. Kelly and O’Connor made a great team.

    • Rick Bannister
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I see that the O’Connor clip that was in the email version has now been replaced by an actual Danny Kaye clip. My favourite Danny Kaye is “The Court Jester” Here is a sample:

      • rickflick
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        I saw that when I was a kid and laughed ’till my abds were in painful knots. They spent a decent $4 million on it, but looks like continuity was let neglected. The stirrup on the bench that slides due to magnetism disappears after the cut. Still, a great time for kids.

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I screwed up and always get these guys mixed up. I’ve fixed it now.

  2. Servatius
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I first thought Eeyre and then nope it’s got to be Tiger but I was wrong.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the producers/engineers of the Danny Kaye part recorded the video a fraction slower rate, so that playback shows a more cartoon-like performance. The audio sounds overdubbed – I mean it isn’t possible to sing as good as that and do the acrobatics simultaneously even if they could record it so clearly. He’s still amazing and working hard but the performance is sweetened up if it’s sped up a bit.

    If anyone knows Metallica’s Master Of Puppets recording, the engineer used the same trick – record at a very slightly slower rate to give a mesmerizing sound on playback.

    • boudiccadylis
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      I thought all movies were overdubbed.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        I’ll try to make this super clear :

        I think the original cinematic release of the dance number of interest here, “Make ‘Em Laugh” – is playing back faster than the actor/dancer danced in real life during filming.

        my first attempt to be “clear” :

        the dancing looks particularly amazing because – I propose – the filming was done at a slow rate, capturing more information per unit length of film. When this film – with more information per unit length than film recorded at conventional rates – is played back at conventional playback rates, things happen faster than normal. But, they can’t go too fast or it looks unnatural.

        the argument about voice-over/overdubbing is just an additional comment – the level of physical activity would make it impossible for anyone to sing with any accuracy.

        • Roger
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Interesting theory but the parts where he jumps and lands don’t look like an unnatural rate of acceleration to me. He would fall and jump unnaturally faster and if the film was sped up.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            I’ll have to rewatch but there’s no reason sections could be sped up to sweeten them, but those couldn’t pass the test. This sounds tautological but I think the process allows for it. By the way, speeding the video up just a hair to sound/look better is a recent suspected trend in some musicians who post material on the various social media – and there’s debunking videos on that as well.

            I found “Be A Clown”, this one with Judy Garland: https://youtu.be/aXmGpLYiFWU

            … I understand there is an industry work factor here – they “just need something” that works, so they put together a song similar to other pieces at the time. That is, there’s only so many ways to come in like that…. the “be a clowwwwn… be a clooooown” is almost the same exact melody and rhythm as “make em laaasaugh – make em laaaugh” … I’ll have to check later….

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        I forgot- the reason I mentioned the overdub – the audience would hear a natural voice at the natural rate, simultaneously with the sped up video – that is, there wouldn’t be a squeaky voice as a give away to the recording technique.

        It’s show biz – illusion- so, though itd make me sad, it’s just the biz. It’s still fun to watch, even if it’s true – again I emphasize I don’t know this except for that Metallica album where they absolutely used this technique for sound recordings.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          If you’re familiar with British TV’s fiendishly convoluted quiz programme “Only Connect“, you may have noticed that they did a question on overdubbing in the movies a week or two ago. The clues given were a list of actresses and movie titles (none of which triggered anything in me more than “musical?”) with the solution being that all the named actresses had had their singing parts overdubbed by a studio contractor. Really quite fiendish, but the team managed to work it out.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            No but I’ll look for that show.

            It’s funny because in Singin In The Rain – I come to learn, never having watched the whole thing – there’s a part where a singer lip-synchs to a high quality singer live, and there’s a whole drama over it.

            I still think it’s a necessity that for some of those more difficult moves at least, a separate vocal track was made.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      I’ve watched the performance a number of times now. The only parts that appear sped up to me are on the couch- his legs spin around in a blur – and the last split second of the walking in a circle on the carpet. I think Im just noticing something about the high film recording quality because I can see it in other numbers – like Good Morning or the title number – feet moving in an exceptionally clear way. That and he was just that amazing in this performance.

      So I’m glad PCC(E) put that up by mistake- really a delightful amusement for a Saturday afternoon!

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Diana, I’m shocked. Not Fancy Feast?

  5. Historian
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    John Tyler, slaveholder, who died on this date in 1862, I refer to as the traitor president. As Wikipedia puts it:

    “On the same day the Peace Conference started, local voters elected Tyler to the Virginia Secession Convention. He presided over the opening session on February 13, 1861, while the Peace Conference was still under way. Tyler abandoned hope of compromise and saw secession as the only option, predicting that a clean split of all Southern states would not result in war. In mid-March he spoke against the Peace Conference resolutions, and on April 4 he voted for secession even when the convention rejected it. On April 17, after the attack on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops, Tyler voted with the new majority for secession. He headed a committee that negotiated the terms for Virginia’s entry into the Confederate States of America and helped set the pay rate for military officers. On June 14, Tyler signed the Ordinance of Secession, and one week later the convention unanimously elected him to the Provisional Confederate Congress. Tyler was seated in the Confederate Congress on August 1, 1861, and he served until just before his death in 1862. In November 1861, he was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives but he died of a stroke in his room at the Ballard Hotel in Richmond before the first session could open in February 1862.”

    John Tyler is little known today, but he played a significant role in issues dealing with slavery and the annexation of Texas.

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Remembered mainly from “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Was he a descendent of Wat Tyler too?

  6. Robert Bray
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    ‘Week of prayer for Christian unity’. . .

    . . . even as the UNITED Methodists split again. First time (1844) over slavery, this time over pastoral participation for LBGTQs.

    Oh, and yes: Eyeore is my ‘spirit animal’ too. And I’ve earned him!

    Sincerely,
    Rawbutt Don Qui Noyes

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Cue links to the “People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine? – He’s over there. – Splitter!” scene from Life of Brian.

  7. Roger
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    From the department of way out in left field: Is it me or is the internet getting harder to copy and paste. Usually it’s titles of things. Try and click drag some words and nothing happens. Or manage to click a word and the entire page lights up. Or select some words and then copy and when you paste you get a long string of weird thingies you have to edit out before you get to what you were after. Maybe it’s me but copy and paste used to be so simple back in the day.

    • Roger
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      God help you if you just want a couple of words from in the middle of a long title of something. Shock and horror of horrors, you may actually need to type out the words manually yourself into google.

      • boudiccadylis
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        The computer/internet gods are much too busy to help with such a minuscule problem.

        • Roger
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          But half of our lives are spent copy paste googling to figure out big wordz and what the hell meme someone is on about.

    • Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      There are techniques that web page designers can use to defeat copy. I suspect their use is becoming more prevalent. In the minds of their employers, they probably think they are thwarting copyright infringement. Instead, they are just being pains in the ass.

      • Roger
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Okay go to the top of this page. There are a couple of links to the previous and the next post. Now from those links try and highlight just the “U.S. and U.K.;” part so you can copy just those the words. Can’t be done. I don’t think things have always been like that.

        • Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Now I see what you’re talking about. I did find a solution for Chrome on Windows. Hold the Alt key down while selecting and it appears to work. I have no idea why they made this change or when it happened. If I had to guess, it is probably about security. Almost every hoop we have to jump through is about security. There should be a special circle of Hell for those nasty hackers. (Ok, Hell doesn’t exist.)

          • Roger
            Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            Hey! That works. Thanks a lot that’s been bugging me for years.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      The page’s designers are “overloading” (I think that’s the name of the technique) the Mouse_Drag message handler with protocols that do not include a call to the “CopyToClipboard” process.
      Install NoScript. Only allow the execution of the minimum number of scripts from the page to get the functionality you feel a need for ; probably the annoying new “capabilities” will go away.
      I’m not sure if the current M$ browser (IEdge? Whatever?) allows the user to make choices like that, because it breaks all sorts of privacy-violation and cross-site tracking invasions. Which may be a problem if you use an M$ browser. Didn’t M$ change browsers last week anyway?
      Incidentally, something is showing up on here with big “You Must Enable Javascript” messages, several times in the last few days – some site that PCC(E) has started linking to has started using scripts which I’ve blocked. Oh well, those electron’s journeys were wasted.

      • Roger
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the NoScript suggestion. Cool let’s see if the interwebs is a little speedier now.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          I suspect any speed up at my end is off-set by the server at the far end detecting a too-low reading of scripts and nicing the errant server instance down a bit. But they did the same a decade ago when I ran an IJB (Internet Junk Buster) proxy server (which was a do-nothing which looked at all outgoing GET messages, checked them against a list of advertising servers, and either passed them to the external network interface, or served them locally (with “EOF”). I think that tool died under Vista, so Vista died to me.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted February 27, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          How is NoScript doing?

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Dershowitz, I just saw him on the tube explaining his part in the Trump defense. He claims his only role is to argue his opinion on the impeachment as stated in the constitution. Of course he is all wet on this but claims impeachment can only be done if actual crimes are committed. Many constitutional lawyers would disagree with this idea. And even if you did agree with Dershowitz, Trump did commit actual crimes. One of them, just decided the other day was the withholding of congressional funds already approved. That was a slam dunk crime. It is no wonder Dershowitz spends most of his time on Fox.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Whatever Dershowitz does at the trial, I just hope he keeps his underwear on.

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I need to look who the composer of Make ‘Em Laugh is – it shares the sound of this Bugs Bunny numbah : https://youtu.be/F-t8PngHgWY

  10. Roger
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Danny Kaye movies oddly seem somehow perpetually contemporary. I guess timeless is the word for them. For example back in the 90s when I was, like, three months old I could have sworn they were from the 80s.

    • merilee
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Grew up with Danny Kaye movies and records.His daughter, Dena, was in my freshman dorm at Stanford and one day I found him sprawled on one of the couches in our lobby. Real casual guy. My cousin became quite good friends with Dena, who I think was a writer for Newsweek for a while. Nice girl, but I’m sure she was the only one who had an interior decorator “do” her dorm room.
      The rest of us made do with the usual schlocky dorm furniture of the mid-60s. And no TVs, microwaves, or even personal phones in our rooms (had to go through switchboard). How did we survive??🤓

      • Roger
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        I don’t tell my friends Inchworm is one of my fav music videos. They think the’re tool cool for Danny Kaye but we know they’re really too square. 😀

        • merilee
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink


          Damn, how could I have forgotten this when I was teaching Math?

  11. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “Make ‘Em Laugh” is apparently very much like Cole Porter’s “Be A Clown”

    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/66159/15-toe-tapping-facts-about-singin-rain

    … I’ll have to look/listen later…

  12. GBJames
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I. Hate. Ticks.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s the politics of contraband, or just an occupational hazard, but the Glenn Frey tune I’ve always been partial to is “Smuggler’s Blues”:

  14. Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I worry about Dershowitz’s role in the impeachment trial. He was on CNN yesterday talking about it. He did make some good points and CNN’s resident legal scholar and former student of Dershowitz did a poor job rebutting them, IMHO.

    Toobin’s big argument was that Dershowitz is portraying himself as a constitution expert called in to give an opinion, rather than a proper advocate and a member of Trump’s legal team. This is pure showmanship, of course, and there’s no reason to make a big deal of it. Everyone knows he’s a member of Trump’s legal team and even the White House said so.

    The other more interesting controversy is Dershowitz’s claim that “Obstruction of Congress” is a completely made up charge. This refers to Trump blocking witnesses and documentation with every trick at his disposal. I think Dershowitz is correct on this one. While Trump can and should be slammed for these actions in the court of public opinion, he does have the legal right to do what he’s doing and let the courts adjudicate his blocking. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as Obstruction of Congress but this isn’t it.

    Dems didn’t challenge these blockings as it would have delayed the impeachment into the 2020 election. This is not Trump’s fault but a flaw in our legal system that Trump is simply exploiting and, again, something for which he should be slammed in the court of public opinion.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I’m not a lawyer but do not think you are either. I think you got it wrong. If congress has subpoena’d for documents and witnesses and trump block every bit of it, that is obstruction of congress. How could it not be?

      Dershowitz is attempting to say he is not on the team, he is just there to give his so-called expert opinion. That would make him a witness and if he is a witness, the other side can call a witness to oppose. What Dershowitz has to say is not even relivent and if it was he is still wrong. Crimes were committed but are not required to impeach.

      • Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        No, I’m not a lawyer. Trump is claiming executive privilege, or some such excuse, for not handing over documents and allowing witnesses to testify. However, his excuse is neither here nor there. Anyone, including Trump, has the right to refuse to do something but should expect to suffer the consequences. In this case, Congress should challenge his claim of executive privilege and Trump will have to live with the consequences. Even if he lost that case, he could still refuse to hand over documents and his henchmen could still refuse to testify. Perhaps that would finally be “Contempt of Congress”.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          Lost that case…really? Let’s just say what Trump would say and has said. He can do anything he wants. To hell with article one. The congress has standing and can ask for all relevant documents and witnesses. Waiting for it to go through the courts is exactly what Trump wants. That never happens. You cannot withhold evidence and facts from congress and still say you are legal. It just does not fly.

          Besides, they have to goods on this case anyway. The only thing that Trump has is the republicans in his pocket. With the additional information from Lev Parnus, he and many others are guilty as hell. I particularly like the fact that he has nailed Nunes as well as Pence. It is not just what the guy says, it is backed up with documents. One of the worst things they are discovering in modern communication is Text messages. Lev has them all.

          • Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            You realize I am not defending Trump, right? I’m only trying to interpret the law objectively. Trump has shown us that the Constitution has big gaps that can be exploited by someone with no respect for democracy or the American people.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

              But it could be there is something here that you and many others do not understand as yet. The department of justice (DOJ) is now in the hands of Trump. This is because Barr (his boy) is AG. Therefore, how much luck do you think is possible in the justice system. It is the same as expecting something in the Senate.

              One of the very first crooks in the Donald Trump scandal was Flynn. He still has not spent any time in Prison.

            • rickflick
              Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

              “Trump has shown us that the Constitution has big gaps”

              The framers added impeachment as a protection against all the gaps they certainly knew were there.

              • Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

                Sure, except those gaps that get in the way of impeachment. For example, while Trump may be able to force those who would impeach him to sue in the Supreme Court for documents and witnesses, there should be some sort of expedited judicial process so that he can’t use it to escape impeachment or delay it so as to render it moot. Trump’s impeachable actions threaten the fairness of the 2020 election. It is not in the interest of justice that he can delay impeachment and render it an ineffective remedy.

                That said, I wonder if the Dems could have petitioned the Supreme Court to expedite the process. Though the Constitution may not enshrine such a mechanism, my guess is the Supremes would have the power and interest in dealing with such things quickly.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

                Correct. I’m not sure why the Dems didn’t enlist the Supremes to give them the testimony and documents in an expedited manner, except that they may have worried that the court was too heavily GOP.

                I suspect, though, that the founders were not thinking that the president could get a majority of senators (the entire GOP) to abandon their consciences. They must have imagined that if the chief executive was threatening democracy, they’d rally around the constitution and send him packing. They were wrong on that point. A few well directed amendments are in order to handle this situation down the road. If there is a ‘down the road’.

              • Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

                Agree but any idea what amendments would work? I also suspect that amendments will be virtually impossible to pass any time soon. Whatever is proposed by the Dems will be seen as targeting the GOP and vice versa.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

                An amendment requiring the SCOTUS to deal with the issues at hand immediately, would be one such.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        You are arguing a technicality, which is what tRump’s side will do. Keep in mind that the Senate trial is not an actual trial and so you don’t need a statutory or constitutional ‘crime’. Essentially the senate serves as “public opinion”. All you need is a “high crime or misdemeanor” which is, I assume, deliberately left undefined. All you need is for the senators to agree that he’s done enough damage and they should throw the bum out. As more evidence piles up, there is a small chance some Republicans will fold – which would be great.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted January 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          I am actually not arguing the technicality. It is Dershowitz I was discussing. But you are correct in what you are saying, therefore Dershowitz is full of it. And that is true crimes or not.

          All of the newer evidence coming out only confirms and enlarges what they already have. The lawyers for Trump are mostly a joke. TV lawyers, Fox lawyers. Lev Parnas already has some of them in trouble and should should withdraw from the case. He has Nunes dead bang. And he was the senior republican on the committee in congress doing hearings on the impeachment.

          Many ask, why is Parnas talking? He already told us. Once Trump got Barr in as AG he has the legal system boxed in. With Barr in there, the legal system is dead. Congress is all we have.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for your reply Randall.

            I meant my comment for Paul. I think Paul is holding out for a legalism whereas impeachment is not about that.

            I grabbed the wrong spot. But, you reinforce my point.

            • Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

              The impeachment is not about criminal law but it is certainly a process enshrined in law. Besides, law regarding subpoenas for documents and witnesses is not about impeachment per se though it can be used by Trump to slow impeachment down to a crawl and to thwart the House’s oversight responsibilities.

              A few months ago it was suggested that the House should take a vote at the start of impeachment in order to brand the house oversight efforts as “impeachment investigations”. It was thought this would cause judges to expedite any matters associate with them. However, it was also pointed out that this would be at the discretion of the judges and was not reflected in the law. Perhaps it should be.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

                I think when it is all said and done, only the demand of the people will remove this guy from office so I don’t see much chance. The republicans in congress are paralyzed and cowards. No matter how deep the evidence gets, they will do nothing.

              • Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

                I think everyone agrees with this. The best we can hope for with the impeachment process is to make Trump and the Republicans pay the maximum penalty in voters’ eyes for their criminality, false denials, conspiracy theories, etc.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

                There still is a very small chance that as the evidence accumulates, a couple of GOP will defect. Among those who are quite old or retiring, there may be a few who will want to have a decent legacy. Be on the right side of history. Let’s see what happens. I’m also hoping GOP constituents will not want to reelect senators who are in tRump’s pocket after the trial. This could throw the Senate to the Dems and allow some serious legislation to pass.

              • Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

                The Dems may get enough Republicans on their side to at least force a real trial. On the other hand, the President’s team have just released their first official statement as part of the impeachment process and it is all about the illegitimacy of the Dems impeachment effort, declaring it an attempt to deny Trump his office. My hope is that John Roberts will say some things at the start of the trial that will give the GOP senators something to think about. On the other hand, Trump would not hesitate at all calling him a Never Trumper or member of the Deep State. My hope is that, although Trump will get off, he and the GOP will look as bad as possible leading to a Dem win everywhere in November.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

                Yes, that would be my hope.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      To Paul Topping: In re your first comment on obstruction of congress, if you really want to get into the weeds on that here is a discussion of “obstruction of congress” https://www.lawfareblog.com/obstruction-congress-impeachment-and-constitutional-conflict.

      And here’s what Lawrence Tribe has to say about Dershowitz and his defense, and he uses words like “bizarro” and “wacko”: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/dershowitz-is-running-a-bizarro-defense-of-trump-harvard-law-colleague-says-alan-is-just-completely-wacko/.

      As for Devin Nunez, his collusion with Trump was known last year. Parnas confirmed it and gave the goods, but it wasn’t a new revelation.

      I find this entire thread interesting and illuminating — NOT too long.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Tribe says, “Allen is just completely wacko on this. I don’t understand why the president thinks it will help him to have this kind of bizarro defense,”

        Well, I think I know (Tribe does too, no doubt). This is garbage law, but it gives cover for GOP senators to campaign saying, Dershowitz said tRump hasn’t broken any law.
        Constituents will think, OK, that’s all I need to know. The more interesting question is, why Dershowitz wants to destroy any chance he had of being on the right side of history. Maybe he figure he didn’t have any chance of looking good anyway, so why not get another 15 minutes of fame.

        • Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Dershowitz seems to love high-profile cases. On CNN recently he claimed that abuse of power was not an impeachable offense. He considers it maladministration which the Framers explicitly said was unimpeachable. I don’t see how they are the same thing. As far as I can see, abusing the power of the position is the very definition of an impeachable offense.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            That would be my take. Dersh is on a mission of some sort that has very little to do with the welfare of the US. There will be celebrations with grand speeches after tRump is “exonerated”. Maybe that explains it. Sometimes I think human beings can be rather horrible.

      • Posted January 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link to the interesting article. Actually, the very next one by the same author was even more interesting to me:

        “Should the House Have Gone to the Courts on Obstruction Before Impeaching?”
        https://www.lawfareblog.com/should-house-have-gone-courts-obstruction-impeaching

        He covers all angles, so it is hard to sum up his position in a simple way, but I think his answer is “yes”. Of course, Trump can be impeached with whatever justification the House wants. Since the Dems have little hope of throwing him out of office, perhaps they took the path that maximizes the exposure of Trump’s criminality to the voters.

        BTW, I think Schaub would agree with this part of Dershowitz’s position, that Trump has the right to block whatever he wants and let the courts decide.

        Dershowitz’s second argument is a bunch of hooey. He argues that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. He somehow includes it under “maladministration is not an impeachable offense”. It makes sense that a President can’t be impeached just for promoting a policy that the House disagrees with. But abuse of power is definitely not maladministration.

  15. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    he’s the lone loon in the Department, so that the students won’t be deterred from coming to Lehigh.

    Is Lehigh’s student enrollment in the Science Faculty significantly down since Behe started publishing his IDiocy? Would that give the administration sufficient grounds to sack him?

    • 2p
      Posted January 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Peking is just an old transliteration of Beijing. The city itself has had the same name all along, it’s not a Bombay/Mumbai situation.

  16. Posted January 18, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I tawt I taw an angry Tweety bird, but no duck.

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 18, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m pleased to report I just saw to kids laugh their heads off watching the Make ‘Em Laugh number! Had to rewatch it too!

  18. Posted January 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I guessed Eeyore!


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