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      Senator Perdue does not prefer to do Town Hall meetings, as he prefers more “one on one” meetings with constituents (donors and businesses.) So, he has “Office Hours” events that he does not attend as had his aids there on his behalf. There are some people that thought that just wasn’t acceptable and decided to […]
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      Wages are partially determined by supply and demand. The tighter the labor market, the higher the wages.  There is a very direct relationship. People who dislike immigrants for economic reasons think that if there are less immigrants, there will be less people competing for jobs, and therefore wages will be higher. The alternative argument is […]
  • Top Posts

Flynn Resigns 

Over communications with Russian government officials.

I’m just amused that our National Security Advisor appears to be shocked, shocked, that he was caught with evidence provided by our intelligence people.

Officials said classified information did not appear to have been discussed during the conversation between Mr. Flynn and the ambassador, which would have been a crime. The call was captured on a routine wiretap of diplomats’ calls, the officials said.

But current Trump administration officials and former Obama administration officials said that Mr. Flynn did appear to be reassuring the ambassador that Mr. Trump would adopt a more accommodating tone on Russia once in office.

That’s right, we routinely wiretap phone calls of foreign ambassadors. And those foreign ambassadors all know that. What must they be thinking anout the quality of Donald Trump’s advisory picks? That is Darwin Award Winning behavior. Don’t piss off the spooks.

So, they are vulnerable.

Time to throw them an anchor.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Dear Valentines, I do not tell you enough how much I love all of you for keeping me company, and for being as  smart and funny, and caring human beings as you are. So if no one has claimed you as their Valentine today, be mine. 

I found this pas de deux from the ballet The Snowmaiden. It’s a Russian ballet that isn’t performed much in the states. The music was composed by Rimski-Korsekov. In this pas, Kupava and Lel dance on their wedding day showing their love, playfulness and partnership before they are separated by the icy snowmaiden. 

This version is danced by the Kremlin Ballet. 

May you receive lots of flowers in the real world. 

I’ll post on the Donald later. For now, just smell the roses and hear the music. 

Love, RD

Morning Morning

Today is the start of Carnival in Venice. I’ve been to Italy twice but never to Venice. As we head into Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, here’s bit of morning harmony to transport us. This is Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca with the Prague Philharmonic singing Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffman by Offenbach. The title is Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour or Beautiful night, oh night of love. Lovely no matter when you hear it. 

Rise and shine. 

Trump voters need to face reality. 

It’s not that he doesn’t want to change the country and make you love him. It’s that he’s simply incapable of doing it. 

According to this post at Politico, Trump is having a hard time adjusting to the demands of the position. For example: 

Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to “seem in control at all times,” one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.

Ahh, yes, the “baffle them with bulls%^*” maneuver. I’ve seen that in many a presentation by someone who clearly doesn’t know his stuff. 

The White House is leaking like a sieve, staffers’ morale is at an all time low and there are a series of palace intrigues going on since the inauguration. 

If this is how he runs his businesses no wonder he’s been bankrupt more than once. 

And now he’s threatening to make some changes to keep us safe. I already feel safe. Crime is at an all time low, terrorism isn’t likely to take out a city and I’m not worried about illegal aliens raping and pillaging because, as far as I know, that doesn’t actually happen. 

Anyway, what’s wrong with the Patriot Act except for absolutely everything? 

He’s starting to round up illegal aliens as well. This week, ICE has stepped up its efforts with “unusual intensity”: 

U.S. immigration authorities launched a series of raids, traffic stops and checkpoints in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said.

The raids, which appeared to target scores of undocumented immigrants, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.
It also appeared to signal a departure from the Obama administration’s prioritized immigration enforcement against criminals. Trump has pledged to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants. 

[…]

Gillian Christensen, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), confirmed that ICE agents this week had raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, the Los Angeles area and two other cities that she declined to identify, as part of “routine” immigration enforcement actions. ICE does not use the term raids.

But immigration activists said Friday that they had documented ICE raids of unusual intensity in the last 48 hours in Vista, Pomona and Compton, Calif.; Austin, Dallas, and Pflugerville, Texas; Alexandria and Annandale, Va.; Charlotte and Burlington, N.C.; Plant City, Fla.; the Hudson Valley region of New York; and Wichita, Kan.

There were also reports of ICE checkpoints, targeting immigrants for random ID checks, in North Carolina and in Austin.

Wait til the media starts showing videos of sobbing children as their parents are hauled away in the middle of the night. 

Can we get any colder, more callous and less forgiving as a country?

It ain’t pretty, people. His house of cards is starting to look very shaky.

Snow falling 

4I woke up to snow this morning. The street outside wasn’t plowed. I live on a hill. Thank god for anti-lock brakes.

Pittsburgh has many beautiful city parks and I wish I could be in one of them today, walking in the soft quiet snow, taking pictures.

And coming back to a warm room and a pile of books.

What do we know today that we didn’t know two days ago?

medium_9016253998-21Raise your hand if anything that has happened in the last couple of days has surprised or shocked you.  Betsy DeVos was going to be confirmed. The scorecard was predictive. The only useful power that the VP has is to cast a tie breaking vote. Would the GOP really confirm an unpopular cabinet nominee along party lines in spite of so much opposition from their voters? Of course it would. These are the same Republicans who would shut down the government and threaten its credit rating in order to throw red meat to their “Christian” conservative constituents who wanted to put a silver bullet through Planned Parenthood.

And making Elizabeth Warren sit down and shut the fuck up was a twofer. They got to disrespect Coretta Scott King and Warren at the same time. They were probably just waiting for the opportunity to do it, sharpening their knives for the day when they could humiliate Warren and tell a woman to know her place. It doesn’t matter if they finally gave in on the letter. That wasn’t the point. Defanging Warren was the point.

They really are that shameless.

For the next two years, they can do whatever they want. We’ve known this since the day after the election. That feeling of dread we all had in the run up to Trump’s inauguration? It’s all been justified.

Getting angry with righteous indignation will only get you so far. And if they know they can push our buttons, they’ll keep doing it like a rat on cocaine pushing the lever over and over again.

These are not nice people. They’re Stanford prison experiment guards with sunglasses people. The problem is that no one is going to stop this experiment early. It’s going to go on until at least November 2018. There will be no halt to the daily humiliations, the long term devastations, the collaborations with the Trump White House that are intended to keep us off balance and infuriated. They are teaching us learned helplessness.

Are we going to let them do that to us?

Don’t get mad. Get even.

“Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”
– Macbeth, William Shakespeare
Show no mercy.

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

Thanks to all of you who sent me messages and little gifts of music and I Ching yesterday. It lifted my spirits. I worked off my sleep deficit last night.

Fierce 

I woke up fierce this morning. Couldn’t sleep. I was thinking of a podcast I’d been listening to and my mind started clicking. More on the podcast later. 

This past weekend was the 40th anniversary of Go Your Own Way. So I put it on and felt suddenly young again. 

Got dressed. Significantly thinner now than in December. Wore a new sweater dress that’s a bit clingy. Still feeling pretty good. 

Got off the bus, earbuds screening me from everything but the jangling sound of Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar. I picked up the beat, walking down Liberty Avenue with my black leather jacket open to cool me down, having a good hair day. Sun’s coming up. It’s dawn. I’m looking forward to the rest of the day from the soles of my boots to the top of all 5 feet 9 inches of me. 

Got into work, still rocking in the elevator and swung down my corridor of IT geeks feeling my cheerios like Gisele Bundchen. 

Reached into my bag for my laptop, Stevie and Lindsay still yearning in my head only to find….

I left my laptop on my dining room table. 

Sigh. 

Back on the bus feeling stupid. 

Maybe if I listen to it again…