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      Right, with the ban on Huawei using chips made with American manufacturing equipment (one of America’s last few places of absolute advantage); the bans of TikTok, Tencent and WeChat; the attempt to convince other countries to not use Huawei 5G; the arrest of the Huawei founder’s daughter for doing business with Iran along with the […]
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Happy Thanksgiving!

I made my first cheesecake today. I know, I’m a late bloomer.

What are you guys making today?

A little levity: perineum sunning is a thing.

Promoted by wellness gurus is the biggest thing since crystals: perineum sunning. That’s right, as you finish your morning yoga practice, shimmy off those pants and undies, spread your legs and point your yoni at the sun.

There’s only one little problem with this. Sun exposure can depress your immune system and that can have unintended consequences:

“Sunlight is a relatively common trigger for HSV-1, or oral herpes. Because the genitals are rarely exposed to sunlight, it’s not a common trigger for genital herpes. … Simply put, spending more time in the sun can affect your immune system and potentially trigger oral herpes outbreaks.”

Yes, your genitals are rarely exposed to sunlight so normally this isn’t an issue. But once a fitness trend like this becomes infectious, and becomes especially popular with those of us with secret exhibitionist tendencies, outbreaks might happen.

As BiFF says: “Somewhere an influencer’s mellow has been harshed.”

Whatever.

Where does he get this crap? And why does his base believe it?

The jokes just write themselves, Part 32567

*******************

In which I regrettably find myself siding with Bill Kristol:

Now, I know there are some centrist Democrats on this blog who are jonesing for Amy Klobuchar or Joe Biden and that’s ok. But listen to what Kristol is saying. He sees the party moving left. A lot of millennials and other demographics will feel demotivated if their concerns are not addressed by the “We’re going to leave things EXACTLY like they are!” centrists.

Our party has been inundated with moderate Republicans since the Obama days. They’ve yanked us to the right and screwed over a lot of working class people and indentured millennials. Leaving things exactly as they are is no longer an option.

Plus, moderate Republicans should stop trying to highjack our party and go work on taking back their own.

In any case, I’m really reaching my limit with people whining “how are you going to pay for it??” to Elizabeth Warren. That’s the question we all should have been asking about that monstrous tax cut that is going to cause trouble soon.

First, get that money back.

I’m not saying I have declared a candidate. And I’m not going to push my views on anyone. But I think some of you need to think long and hard about the burdens you expect working people and young people to bear campaign cycle after campaign cycle. If the party sentiment swings left, don’t make it drag you kicking and screaming into the cold harsh reality of strap hangers and second jobbers.

The Obama Reckoning begins

Finally, someone has the guts to say it without worrying he’s going to be vilified as a racist:

Read the whole thing.

Given the political climate, it’s no surprise to see the party’s base clamoring for something dramatic. But the contrast between Obama’s steady approach and the seeming radicalism of his Democratic heirs can’t just be chalked up to changing times. It’s because the former president, going back at least to his 2004 Senate race, hasn’t really occupied the left side of the ideological spectrum. He wasn’t a Republican, obviously: He never professed a desire to starve the federal government, and he opposed the Iraq War, which the GOP overwhelmingly supported. But to the dismay of many on the left, and to the continuing disbelief of many on the right, Obama never dramatically departed from the approach of presidents who came before him.
There’s a simple reason: Barack Obama is a conservative.

Where I disagree is with the notion that the “far left” consider him a sellout. I don’t think you need to be a “knit your own sandals” style Democrat to be disappointed that Obama didn’t even attempt to Change TM anything.

You just have to have been profoundly screwed by what he left behind: a country that doesn’t really GAF how smart or well educated or skillful or hardworking you are. Your livelihood is in the debit column to the shareholders.

Read the whole thing.

**************

As a WordPress user, I want an editor that doesn’t leave me frustrated and gives me html tag options to get around it, so that I don’t spend three times longer writing a post than necessary.

The new editor is a defect. Fix it.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood and my birthday!

Cake for breakfast for everyone!!

Tonight is Light Up Night in Pittsburgh. How much do you want to bet that Mr. McFeely leads us singing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood like he did a few years ago? After all, Pittsburgh’s WQED is the place where the Land of Make Believe lived.

Today is the day the movie opens too. I can’t wait to see it.

We could all use a little Mr. Rogers these days.

And now, up to take a shower. Happy Birthday to me. I made it!

Everybody sing along:

More Intensity

That was a lot to take in yesterday at the impeachment hearings and at the debate. I think I had too much cortisol.

Thoughts, observations, complaints, put them in the comment section below.

Impeachment Hearings Day 4- Gordon Sondlund

Watch the hearings here on C-Span.

Has anyone else found cable news morning shows unpalatable? I can’t stand Joe and Mika. They seem fungible. And CNN lets too many Republicans get away with disinformation without challenging them. Plus, there’s too much yelling and screaming, which puts me on edge too early in the day. I can’t listen to NPR since the Juan Williams days. That ruined it for me and they became Nice Polite Republicans. It’s funny how your ear can pick up planted memes once you’ve been exposed for awhile. It’s like developing antibodies to them.

Ugh.

I’m trying C-Span but I get the feeling they don’t screen callers very well. Too many of them sound like they haven’t taken their meds yet and their brains are racing from one concept to another without any transitions.

I guess that until Preet Bharara does a daily podcast, the search will continue.

*********************

Gordon Sondlund. Is he the fulcrum or are we still traveling into the heart of darkness?

The NYT is writing that he intends to say that everything he did was approved by Mike Pompeo.

Let’s ponder that for a moment. What do we know about Pompeo? What I’ve read is that he’s a religious zealot. A true believer.

I think it’s scarier than that.

Pompeo reminds me of someone I used to know whose religious extremism knew no boundaries. People like Pompeo are looking for divine intervention. They want to bring about the second coming. And Donald Trump is their instrument.

The theory is that Jesus will bring about Armageddon when certain signs and criteria are met. You’d have to go rooting around in the canonical gospels for the signs. Never mind that Jesus might have meant something else, Pompeo and Pence are focused on a post-apocalyptic future. Trump will get them there because he is so bad. He will cause suffering on a massive scale and has already done so.

He is the means that ushers in the end.

I don’t expect that Pompeo is redeemable. It’s unlikely that you will be able to change his thinking or make him see the error or his ways or show him how many people are hurt. I suspect that people like Pompeo are hard wired to be like this. They will go to their graves expecting a last minute rapture.

They should never be allowed to have this much power. They are dangerous religious ideologues and their reign works only by reducing the public to the level of sheep.

Impeachment Hearings Day 3

WordPress lost my morning post again. I am not amused.

This is an open thread for following testimony today.

Witnesses: Colonel Alex Vindman, Jennifer Williams (NSC advisor detailed to Mike Pence). I think the foreign service person who overheard the Sondlund-Trump phone call will be testifying later.

It’s a full day.

Keep me informed.

******************

Just a note about the whistleblower. A recent poll commissioned by NPR shows that 56% of the population agrees that the whistleblower’s identity should be protected.

I just want to point out that there are rules in place about whistleblowing. They include anonymity.

Not anonymity except when it pertains to Donald Trump. It means anonymity regardless of reporting on the person doing the unethical or illegal activity.

When someone rewrites the rules to exclude and exonerate Donald Trump from being the target of whistleblowing, then we can talk about identifying the whistleblower, doxxing him and his family and generally ruining his life.

Trump visits Walter Reed

Hmmm…

Anyone want to take a guess what’s going on? I’d heard yesterday that a White House reporter had seen him in an agitated conversation with Bill Barr in the Oval Office. Other unconfirmed reports are that he threw things and threatened to fire people.

He took his ire out on Yovanovitch, Taylor and Kent today in a tweet and pardoned some war criminals yesterday. Sounds to me like he’s out of control.

And who could blame him for starting to unravel? Career public servants are telling the truth in televised hearings, some of his own side are starting to confess to the Impeachment Inquiry committee and violating Trump’s orders to defy subpoenas. His friend Roger Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about what Trump knew and when he knew it with respect to Wikileaks in 2016. Merrick Garland ruled against Trump on his income tax case, sending it to the Supreme Court.

Next week is going to be very traumatizing. Gordon Sondlund can look forward to having Roger Stone as a cell mate if he doesn’t correct the record he’s already corrected. His formidable loyalty wall is starting to crumble.

It’s looking bad for Trump. He’s getting blamed for everything he did. If I were him, my blood pressure would be through the roof and I’d be having trouble pushing blood through that bloated, lie clogged body.

Maybe he’s so irrational and out of control that his aides have bundled him off to a behavioral health unit for evaluation. Maybe they’re waiting for a bed to open in a clinic somewhere.

As one commenter noted:

“I hope it’s nothing minor”

I’m sure it was a typo.

More comments of this type are showing up in my twitter feed:

Oh, my, that would be awful. For Barron. The kid seems completely innocent. And what’s her name. You know, the one who’s smart enough to keep a low profile? Tiffany! Slipped my mind for a moment there.

******************

Update: Trump is back home. According to his press secretary (who no one has ever seen on TV):

“After a quick exam and labs, the President is headed back downtown. The President remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans…

Lab work shows Our Glorious Leader to be stronger that Superman and can defeat leftist kryptonite with a single tweet!

Ok then. He went to the hospital about 5 hours ago, came back 3 hours ago. Spent some time meeting with soldiers. I’m sure they were thrilled about that. But all in all, he didn’t spend a lot of time there. About 2 hours. Probably didn’t wait in the ER too long. And you know, it does make you wonder why he had to go to the hospital to have blood drawn. He could have had the White House physician draw his blood to send off to the lab or do an EKG. No need for a motorcade and breathless speculation.

So, I’m guessing his trip was required because the hospital had some diagnostic equipment that they don’t have sitting around in the West Wing.

Still, 2 hours is a short visit. Contrast CT’s take minutes. MRIs take a bit longer. Behavioral health evaluation might have taken longer but with Trump, how much time do you need to determine he’s an unhinged sadistic megalomaniac?

So, probably nothing to worry about. Except that it was sudden.

And unscheduled.

And he had lab work done.