Friday: Hili dialogue

January 15, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good day on Friday, January 15, 2021: National Bagel Day.  There are few places in North America where you can get a good (i.e., authentic) bagel: two are in Montreal and one is in New York City. I will let you do your own investigation, but do not be gulled into thinking that those inflated pillows of dough sold as “bagels” everywhere in America are real bagels. They are simply toruses made from Wonder Bread. Some even have what purports to be blueberries in them.   Here’s a real bagel with a schmear from Montreal, boiled with honey, cooked over a real wood fire, and properly dense and chewy.

It’s also National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day, National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, and Wikipedia Day (see below).

Today there’s a Google Doodle celebrating the life of James Naismith (1861-1939), the inventor of basketball (click on screenshot). As C|Net reports, it was on this day in 1862 that Naismith “[unveiled] the rules of the sport, which he’d invented just weeks earlier, in a Springfield College school newspaper.”

Wine of the Day:  If you want a good, dry bubbly but don’t want to pay Champagne prices, the American Roederer Estate Brut, which you can get for not much more than $20, is your ticket. It’s made from wine of different vintages, as they mix oak-aged wines from their collection to the blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that are the body of this sparkler.  It’s toasty, with prominent fruit notes: apple and pear (probably due to the malic acid). And it’s a terrific bargain if you want a sparkler. Very dry, too, which is good as I don’t like sweet bubbly.

 

News of the Day:

The news is scary: according to the FBI, via ABC News, there are now credible threats to attack every state capital on Inauguration Day. Will this really happen? Are there that many armed loons in America? Maybe I’m naive, but I’m hoping nobody gets killed on January 20.

And Mitch “666” McConnell now declares that an impeachment trial can’t begin until Inauguration day, January 20. Will we see Senators first watch Biden and Harris get sworn in, then quickly repair to their chamber to debate the article of impeachment? If not on that day, the trial will surely begin that week, for there are no plans to delay it.

Lisa Murkowski, a Republican Senator from Alaska, has intimated that she may vote to impeach Trump. That means we’d still need 16 Republican Senators joining her to secure a conviction. . That simply won’t happen, barring a miracle, and we need to accept it.

At the Washington Post, a Yale Law professor explains why it’s unlikely that Trump would be able to pardon himself.  It’s not dead certain, but there are several legal and societal reasons why Trump couldn’t do it. Of course he could always resign and get Pence to do it, but based on their now soured relations, I think that unlikely.

Reuters reports, based on information from insiders, how Trump is spending his final days in the White House. It’s not a pretty picture, and reminds me of Nixon’s last days. The report adds that Trump wanted to march with the protestors down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, but was dissuaded by the Secret Service, who couldn’t guarantee his safety. An excerpt:

Trump’s last days in the White House have been marked by rage and turmoil, multiple sources said. He watched some of the impeachment debate on TV and grew angry at the Republican defections, a source familiar with the situation said.

Trump has suffered a sudden rupture with his vice president, the departure of disgusted senior advisers, his abandonment by a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers, the loss of his cherished Twitter megaphone, and a rush by corporations and others to distance themselves from him and his businesses.

Reuters spoke to more than a dozen Trump administration officials with a window into the closing act of his presidency. They described a shrinking circle of loyal aides who are struggling to contain an increasingly fretful, angry and isolated president – one seemingly still clinging to unfounded claims of election fraud – and to keep the White House functioning until Biden assumes power.

“Everybody feels like they’re doing the best job they can to hold it all together until Biden takes over,” one Trump adviser told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 388,785, a big increase of about 4,000 deaths from yesterday’s figure, or about 2.8 deaths per minute. In a few days we’ll pass 400,000 deaths: double what the most pessimistic pundits thought we’d have. The world death toll is 2,004,466, a big increase of about 15,500 deaths over yesterday’s total. As predicted, we passed two million deaths yesterday.

Stuff that happened on January 15 includes:

Here’s the cartoon (Wikipedia gives this explanation: “Andrew Jackson’s enemies twisted his name to “jackass” as a term of ridicule regarding a stupid and stubborn animal. However, the Democrats liked the common-man implications and picked it up too, therefore the image persisted and evolved.”)

  • 1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta.
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps at the end of the Spartacist uprising.
  • 1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.

Yes, it’s that time of year when I must report that nearly two dozen people were drowned in molasses. A sad end, but also a sweet one. Here’s a photograph of the damage; caption from the Boston Globe. 

That reminds me of a joke about the guy who died from drinking furniture polish: he had a horrible end, but a beautiful finish.

Boston, MA – 1/16/1919: Looking across North End Park on Jan. 16, 1919, the day after a giant tank at the Purity Distilling Co. on Commercial Street collapsed, sending a wave of an estimated 2.3 million gallons of molasses through the streets of Boston. The great molasses tank was located in the center of this picture. Sections of the metal may be seen at the extreme left and right in the picture. Twenty-one people perished, including two 10-year-olds, Pasquale Iantosca and Maria Distasio, who were collecting firewood near the molasses tank while home from school for lunch. (Boston Globe Archive/) — BGPA Reference: 150115_MJ_001

Here’s a crappy photo, but it’s the only one I could find:

  • 1947 – The Black Dahlia murder: the dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angeles.

This murder is still unsolved, and it was a bad one. If you want the gory details, Google “Black Dahlia crime scene”.

  • 1962 – The Derveni papyrus, Europe’s oldest surviving manuscript dating to 340 BC, is found in northern Greece.

The fragments of the papyrus comprise a commentary on a poem by Orpheus. Here’s a photo of some of them.

  • 1967 – The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10.
  • 1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.

Moore was released in 2007 and then put back in jail in 2019 for violating her parole (she left the country without getting permission). She’s still in jail:

  • 2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.

It’s Wikipedia’s 20th birthday! Reader Enrico noticed that there’s an article in The Economist (paywalled) celebrating the occasion. For years Greg Mayer has been promising to write an article about the errors in Wikipedia, an article to be called “What’s the Matter with Wikipedia?” But, as I tell him, it’s like Casaubon’s “Key to all Mythologies”: it will never appear.

  • 2019 – Theresa May’s UK government suffers the biggest government defeat in modern times, when 432 MPs voting against the proposed European Union withdrawal agreement, giving her opponents a majority of 230.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1622 – Molière, French actor and playwright (d. 1673)
  • 1850 – Leonard Darwin, English soldier, eugenicist, and politician (d. 1943)

Leonard (below) was the son of Charles Darwin. He doesn’t look much like his dad:

  • 1891 – Osip Mandelstam, Russian poet and translator (d. 1938)
  • 1908 – Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist and academic (d. 2003)
  • 1909 – Gene Krupa, American drummer, composer, and actor (d. 1973)
  • 1919 – Maurice Herzog, French mountaineer and politician, French Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (d. 2012)

Herzog and Louis Lachenal were the first mountaineers to climb an 8000-meter peak, Annapurna I. They didn’t have the right boots, though, and Herzog lost all of his toes and most of his fingers on a difficult descent.  He wrote a best-selling book, Annapurna, about the ascent, which remains the best-selling book about mountaineering. Here he is before they snipped off his digits:

Photo: E. P. Dutton
  • 1929 – Martin Luther King Jr., American minister and activist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)

Those who breathed their last on January 15 include:

  • 1896 – Mathew Brady, American photographer and journalist (b. 1822)

Here’s Brady’s photo of Abraham Lincoln:

  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg, German economist, theorist, and philosopher (b. 1871)
  • 1955 – Yves Tanguy, French-American painter (b. 1900)
  • 1964 – Jack Teagarden, American singer-songwriter and trombonist (b. 1905)
  • 1987 – Ray Bolger, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1904)
  • 1994 – Harry Nilsson, American singer-songwriter (b. 1941)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili proposes Meow-Based Reforms:

Hili: We have to change the world.
A: OK, but how to do it?
Hili: By meowing loudly.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy zmienić świat.
Ja: Dobrze, ale jak to zrobić?
Hili: Trzeba miauczeć donośnie.

Also in Dobrzyn, Kulka, always jumping and running, disports herself in the snow. Here are four pictures, with the caption, “Paulina’s hijinks with Kulka”. (In Polish: Szaleństwa Pauliny z Kulką).

 

From Woody:

From Jesus of the Day. Would Velveeta work?

A groaner from Bruce:

Titania isn’t at all distressed at her loss of followers. But Twitter must have really cleaned out its “deplorables”:

From Simon, who says this is “A thought on punishing Trump”. Does this mean Trump has to serve a very long time?

Tweets from Matthew. These oldsters still got it!

Another Trump-related tweet (and a response). Soon, I hope, we can dispense with this issue:

One of Matthew’s beloved optical illusions:

This weevil looks like it was just entombed yesterday, but has been preserved in amber for 35 million years. The second tweet links to the paper with the description:

I’m not squeamish, but I have to say that this is disgusting:

It’s where they keep their spare silk:

 

71 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. I wouldn’t normally post to correct such a seemingly trivial spelling mistake, but ABC is reporting planned armed uprisings at every state capitol not every state capital.

    If there had been violence in Washington DC (the capital) last Wednesday, it would not have been good, but it’s happened before. The fact that the violence was in the Capitol is what makes it a whole different ball game.

    1. No, the spelling is correct. “Capital” refers generically to seats of government; “Capitol” refers specifically to the building in DC.

      I don’t know how the distinction came about. Could be ‘Capitol’ was a misspelling or alternate spelling of ‘capital’ that just got historically stuck or fixed after some official usage.

      1. You’d best talk to ABC then because they are the ones that used “capitol”.

        Having sad that, I can tell you where “capitol” comes from: it derives from “Capitoline hill” (in Rome) and the name was coined by Thomas Jefferson. The word specifically refers to the building where the legislature meets, originally the US federal legislature, but the word was later adopted for the buildings of most (if not all?) of the states’ legislatures. Here’s a list of US state capitols

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_and_territorial_capitols_in_the_United_States

        The word “capital”, on the other hand, usually refers to the city in which a country’s government meets. It’s etymology derives from the Latin for “head” i.e. caput.

        London, for instance, is the capital of the UK. We don’t have a capitol, but the building analogous to the Capitol in DC is the Palace of Westminster. We frequently refer to it as the Houses of Parliament, but never “capital” and especially not “capitol” – that’s nonsense introduced by those upstart colonialists :).

        1. The capitoline hill derives from ‘capitolinus’, or ‘small head’ (caput means head), it is a rather small hill, after all. Hence in the end both capital and capitol derive from caput, albeit by very different ways. 🙂

        2. I don’t take ABC as an expert on this, but the building vs. city distinction seems reasonable…in which case, I was wrong. I’ve still never heard of any other building referred to with the ‘o’, but maybe that’s just limited experience.

    1. It would be so … apt if the Republitards most devoted to the cause of the Tangerine Shitgibbon were to meet him, about now, catch COVID from one of their number, and be unable to attend the impeachment trial due to being in quarantine.
      It’d never happen – they couldn’t politically accept a quarantine order.

  2. Thanks for providing some much needed cheering up – the couple dancing was a delight and I laughed out loud at the spider and her purse.

  3. I do not see the illusion do anything…

    Leonard Darwin was a confirmed eugenicist, good friends with Fisher with who he exchanged many letters. He was the one adult male child of Darwin who did not enter into a scientific career.

    He wrote about ‘the deterioration of our breed’ –

    https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/library-rnid/2020/01/10/leonard-darwin-if-i-had-to-write-this-again-i-should-in-chapt-xiii-paint-a-more-lurid-picture-his-personal-copy-of-what-is-eugenics/

  4. Roederer is very nice, especially for the money.

    I continue to predict that Trump will pardon himself. It is zero risk to him. He has such a terrible reputation already it can’t hurt him there. And if it doesn’t work? He’s in the same spot he would have been if he hadn’t done it.

    I predict he will do it, it will be immediately challenged, and the SCOTUS will reject it. They will reject it for reasons of history (not wanting to be tarred with any of Donnie’s foul effluvia) and for reasons of state: Allowing it throws open the gates for unlimited Presidential malfeasance (given the DOJ position on charging sitting presidents), except for impeachment.

    1. The one thing that may mitigate against his doing the self-pardon attempt is if attorneys convince him that this will make the likelihood of a Justice Department investigation a near certainty.

    2. The best hope is that he tries but his attempt is struck down in the courts.

      If he doesn’t try, then the question of self pardon remains unresolved.

      If he tries and succeeds… well, it’s game over for US democracy.

  5. Reuters reports, based on information from insiders, how Trump is spending his final days in the White House. It’s not a pretty picture, and reminds me of Nixon’s last days.

    My first thought was that maybe that corrupt old valet du pouvoir, Henry Kissinger, could stop by the Lincoln sitting room, as he had at the end with a drunken Dick Nixon, to drop down on their knees and pray among all the presidential portraiture. But I doubt that liver-spotted bag of bones Henry the K could still assume the kneeling position. Plus, Nixon, unlike Trump, was capable in the final days of his presidency of feeling something remotely akin to remorse — or at least a sadness of sorts, if not for the nation, then for himself and his family, and for the intimates on his staff who had remained loyal to the end.

    Not so, The Donald. Remorse has no place in the Trumpian pallet, only seething rage. Trump is incapable of thinking along a right/wrong or moral/immoral axis. The only metric upon which he has ever measured anything is whether it advances or retards the selfish interests of Donald John Trump himself.

    Plus, I doubt there’s a prayer Trump could recite from memory anyway — not “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” nor even the words for saying “Grace” before chowing down on a Big Mac.

    1. Back in the day at the Phi Kap house, before each dinner, we used to recite: “Dear god, if there is a god, bless this food if you can . . . etc.”

    2. I’ve always seen Nixon as a tragic figure. He tried to do a lot for his nation and succeeded at much of it. He clearly cared about the Presidency and his legacy. He was many things — a bigot, a criminal, a drunk — but he did care. He ultimately couldn’t overcome his flaws, but he did a lot of good before those flaws felled him and he was legitimately devoted to his country.

      1. I’ve always seen Nixon as a tragic figure.

        There’s a reason the great historian Garry Wills (in a play on the title of Milton’s tragedy about Samson) called his book Nixon Agonistes.

        Or why Hunter Thompson, in his corrosively mordant obituary of Nixon wrote:

        He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful.

    3. My personal opinion is that among Trump’s other personality disorders, he has an extreme inferiority complex. He has routinely failed, all throughout his life, in every aspect of his life that he wishes to be seen as the best. He bluffs his way past his failures and thuggishly forces others as necessary to support his fantasies and smother the reality, but he knows he is a failure and he passionately resents it.

      Prior to him becoming POTUS Trump had the enormous fortune he inherited from his father, and the machinery that came with it, to shield him from his chronic failures and enable the fantasies he spun of the person he wanted the world to see to work well enough to fool enough people, and perhaps himself, to satisfy his ego.

      What we have been seeing lately is glimpses of Trump in circumstances in which his inheritance, lies and mafia-don tactics are no longer capable of keeping reality at bay. More and more of the world is seeing him as a failure on the biggest stage he’s ever been on in his life. And he knows it. Knows he is a failure and knows more and more people see him as such.

  6. “Are there that many armed loons in America?”

    It is easy to hope that there are not, but, unfortunately, there are.

    Last year was another record year for sales of weapons and ammunition. 17million presale background checks prior to november, more than 5million first time buyers (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gun-sales-record-high-2020/) I think it is reasonable to assume that the loons contribute to these numbers in greater proportion than the rest of the population.

    The current communication climate is such that many people are convinced of things that are not true, and many that do not truly believe the falsehoods go along so that they can justify actions that they know are wrong.

    Some of the people interviewed last week essentially said that they knew they were wrong, in the legal sense, but the belief that there would be no repercussions emboldened them. Then, being in a large mob made it easy. The outright shock many people had that any defense was mounted (pepper spray lady pisses me off. I’ve been hit twice while NOT breaking the law. It is not fun. I might rather be Tasered again) is a strong tell, and some of the interviews reflected that some people would not have participated if they knew there would be defense.

    1. IIRC though, gun ownership follows something like a power law. I.e. most of the population has zero or one gun, while a small number of the population owns tens to hundreds of guns each (and keeps buying more). So high gun sales does not necessarily imply more people own guns; it could (and very likely does) mean that Billy the Survivalist decided he needed 12 shotguns in case of the breakdown of society instead of 10.

      1. The 5million first time purchasers is likely the more significant part 9and also 4 months out of date. I think it is significantly higher now, but can’t find any references with actual figures)

        There is a pretty good correlation between purchasers and those already owning a weapon, but, in the case of nutjobs, that may not really matter, as Billy the Survivalist with twelve weapons is much more likely to provide a weapon to a weaponless nutter than someone with one weapon. At least one of the arrests last week was of such, and I should imagine that there are others.

      2. There were some numbers put out a bit BC (Before COVID) which indicated around a half billion guns registered in the USA, but the mean gun owner owning about ten weapons. That would be consistent with the no-gun cohort being about 5 times the size of the gun-owning cohort and there being a small number of people who own literal armouries.
        Of course, that’s registered weapons. The number of unregistered ones is a harder question to assess.

  7. Whether there are violent attacks on Inauguration Day I don’t know. But it is near certainty that we are going to see a lot more of this and some of it will be very ugly.

  8. “That reminds me of a joke about the guy who died from drinking furniture polish: he had a horrible end, but a beautiful finish.”

    I was watching the great Christopher Hitchens’ debate with Dr. Alister McGrath the other day and, when he came to the podium for the second time, he immediately opened with two jokes. After approaching the podium, he said, “I need the podium. If I can’t be erect, at least I can be upright.” This obviously put him in a joking mindset because he immediately said, “why was the Amish girl excommunicated? Too Mennonite.” One of the best religion jokes I’ve ever heard.

    I still watch in absolute wonderment every time I view a Hitchens debate or talk. I cannot think of another man so brilliant, so quick-witted, so absolutely convincing, dexterous, and devastating with his words. He had a talent for speaking like absolutely no other human being.

  9. 1947 – The Black Dahlia murder: the dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angeles.

    The great crime novelist James Ellroy wrote not only an eponymous roman à clef about that case (later adapted into a so-so movie) but also a subsequent memoir, My Dark Places, that explores, along parallel tracks, both that case and the similar unsolved murder of his own mother.

    1. “…so-so movie…”

      You mean Brian de Palma’s? I tried multiple times to watch that movie and it was garbage. What happened to de Palma? How did a man who made so many great movies in so little time suddenly have all his talent seemingly sapped from him? Dressed to Kill is one of the best thrillers ever made, in large part because of his direction.

      1. Yep, that’s the one, unfortunately. But, hey, you know me, Beej: always magnanimous in the appraisal of any cineaste’s sincere effort. 🙂

        As for De Palma, there’s probably no great director whose oeuvre has been more uneven — for nearly every Dressed to Kill or Body Double or Carlito’s Way, there’s been a Bonfire of the Vanities or Black Dahlia.

        Go figure.

      2. We shouldn’t let this topic go by, BJ, without noting that the late Curtis Hanson made a damn fine film from one of other three novels that, along with The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy’s “LA Quartet” comprises — LA Confidential.

        1. Haha I literally just got out of the bathtub and was watching it in there. For probably the 30th or 40th time. What a great movie.

          By the way, I got a used copy of Nil by Mouth. I can’t say I enjoyed it very much, though that’s not the fault of Gary Oldman’s writing or direction. It’s certainly very realistic and caused me to research Oldman’s early life, as I got the (correct) feeling that the movie was based on his own experience. The movie’s verisimilitude couldn’t be achieved by someone who wasn’t familiar with how the characters live. I didn’t enjoy it simply because I’ve never been a big fan of “slice of life” movies in general. I need a narrative, an arc, or even just a protagonist. I need something more than a collection of scenes meant to convey the experiences of people or a segment of society. It’s just not my kind of movie, but it most definitely set out to achieve its aims, and I appreciated that Oldman didn’t feel the need to act in it, or direct it with any sort of flair that would have detracted from the experience. It felt like he just wanted to expose people to a suffering but little-seen segment of society, and he was sincere enough in his vision and skilled enough in his direction to keep his ego out of it.

          1. That’s what I was getting at when I mentioned to you that Nil by Mouth was reminiscent of the “kitchen-sink realism” that hit its peak on Brit stages and screens during the late 1950s and the 1960s.

            BTW, how’d you like Uncut Gems?

            1. Yes, but then you also compared it to Trainspotting, so…a little misleading there, Ken 😛

              I liked Uncut Gems more than I liked the previous Safdie Brothers film, Good Time. This script felt tighter and Sandler’s character seemed to have more depth than Pattinson’s in the latter film. It was genuinely fun watching Sandler give that much to a role and do what was basically a perfect job. I still find the Safdies’ style a bit too hectic to be enjoyable, but that’s exactly what they’re trying to pull off, they’re doing it brilliantly, and I respect it. You feel the protagonists’ fear and anxiety in both films, and you really feel the chaos and the feeling of insanity that seems is boiling just below the surface, especially in Sandler’s performance. They’re excellent filmmakers and have a keen eye for actors, but I’m hoping that they can grow a little more in future projects.

              What was your opinion of Uncut Gems and/or Good Time?

              EDIT: Oh, and Ray Winstone was absolutely brilliant in Nil by Mouth. The whole cast was excellent, but he still stood out by a mile.

              1. I thought UG was great — far and away the best (and least Sandler-like) performance Adam Sandler has ever given. (When I first saw the trailer, I thought for a split second it was John Turturro up there on the screen).

                I admire the Safdies’ balls for giving the story the ending they did. The story reminds me of a nightmare one might have amidst growing subconscious concerns that the many barely managed moving parts in one’s life are starting to spin out of control.

  10. I’ve read about the molasses flood, and it was a truly terrifying event that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

    Maurice Herzog was a snack as the kids these days say.

  11. The “Black Dahlia” murder was terrible, but the behaviour of Hearst’s newspaper towards Elizabeth Short’s mother was appalling. According to Wikipedia:

    Immediately following Short’s identification, reporters from William Randolph Hearst’s Los Angeles Examiner contacted her mother, Phoebe Short, in Boston, and told her that her daughter had won a beauty contest. It was only after prying as much personal information as they could from Phoebe that the reporters revealed that her daughter had in fact been murdered. The newspaper offered to pay her airfare and accommodations if she would travel to Los Angeles to help with the police investigation. That was yet another ploy since the newspaper kept her away from police and other reporters to protect its scoop.

  12. Paulina’s photos of Kulka are absolutely wonderful–a much needed antidote to everything else going on. Please thank her from your readers!

  13. From Simon, who says this is “A thought on punishing Trump”. Does this mean Trump has to serve a very long time?

    As a federal judge once said to a client of mine whom the court had sentenced to 20 years in prison and who had then immediately complained that, at age 74, he couldn’t serve that much time:

    “That all right, sir, just go do as much of it as you can.”

  14. James Naismith must have been one precocious guy, if he was born in 1861 and unveiled the rules of basketball in 1862.

  15. “The report adds that Trump wanted to march with the protestors down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, but was dissuaded by the Secret Service, who couldn’t guarantee his safety.”

    Could you IMAGINE what things would have been like if Trump actually led them to the Capitol as he planned? It’s clear now that plenty of the mob were already planning on and determined to violently storm the Capitol. This implies we would have literally seen President Trump lead the mob himself right up to the Capitol upon which the siege could have commenced! That would have been one for the history books too. I’d expect we’d have much less of the “But he wasn’t really instigating anything the mob went off and did it themselves” stuff if we had footage of the President literally leading the siege.

    As with everything Trump: It’s always the case that if he’d had his way, it would have been worse.

    1. This implies we would have literally seen President Trump lead the mob himself right up to the Capitol upon which the siege could have commenced!

      He’d never have done it. That wide yellow streak from bone spur to bone spur would have been clearly visible.

    2. Imagine if he’d he was shot or even simply had a heart attack; we’d have four solid years of conspiracy theories.

  16. Thanks for the wine recommendation, PCC(E). I’ve been wanting to get something like this for my kind neighbours.

    I think there’s a significant number of senators who will vote to convict. It’s possible they’re having to keep their powder dry till it comes to the vote at the end of the trial. It’s possible they’re trying to avoid the threats of injury to self and family the more forthright ones are currently being subjected to.

  17. Like (from memory) the end of King Lear T*ump is left howling into the wind, rightfully abandoned by even his closest toadies. Now who could have foreseen this would be the kind of melting end of a psychopath way back in, say, 2015? I’ll tell you who….

    Oh. And this NYer doesn’t have the kind of risk tolerance one needs to eat bagels outside my city, but from what I’ve heard elsewhere Montreal is one place I would. ONE place.
    D.A.
    NYC

  18. That weevil is killer. Imagine it: millions of years before there were anything like humans this little guy was scuttling about. No doubt he thought: “Hmm, orangy looking fluid ahead. I can probably just walk through it. Looks legit…”
    …or he thought: “What’s that big orange droplet from the sky headed my way all abo…”
    So that’s that, then.
    ————————-
    Oh. We used to find huntsman spiders as kids in Australia – they’re intimidatingly large and thankfully people generally don’t kill them b/c they’re so beautiful.

    D.A.
    NYC

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