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    • The Press is Trump’s Enemy, Not The Left’s Friend
      The enemy of my my enemy is not my friend. It often isn’t even my ally, but just someone who I have something in common with. FDR wasn’t that left wing, yet the Press savaged him relentlessly. Corbyn is relentlessly savaged and lied about by the British press, and his political beliefs are basically 60s […]
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Scorecard Recap and Tracking 

I thought I’d remind everyone of what the score card is for our current congressional session, executive and judicial branches.

Branch                 R.                 D.            I

President             1

Vice President.   1

House reps.          241.                193.       1

Senate                     52.                  46.       2

USSC                        4(1).                  4

Hard to edit from an iPhone.

So, there you have it. The entire Federal government is owned by the Republicans. They control the horizontal and the vertical and they show no respect for norms.

Not only that but let’s say you voted for Trump but he’s making you uneasy and maybe could be impeached down the road. (Not before congressional Republicans are done using him to finally destroy the safety net but let’s save that for another time) If Trump is impeached, Mike Pence takes his place. Not much of an improvement except he’s less likely to nuke us all. But let’s say that Pence is too religiously extreme for you and you want him out. No problem. Paul Ryan, the granny starver, will fill his shoes.

In other words, it’s Republicans as far as the eye can see. They can ram any damn thing they want thru Congress and the Democrats can’t do much about it. If you hear otherwise, someone is not being honest.

The data geeks at 538 are keeping track of what the Republican juggernaut is doing. Let’s follow along, shall we? And let’s be clear here. The only reason they are in charge is because they were able to control the district voting populations because they had the majority after the 2010 election year. They are a minority party throwing their weight around like they have a mandate. They don’t.

The soonest we can vote them out is 11/2018.

Why, yes, they CAN do a lot of damage by then. Thanks for asking.

To Brook


Happy Birthday

Love, M

Jon Stewart: how to MAGA 

Stick with it to the end. 

#UpholdTheseRights

Lady V has been working diligently on a new site with new content every day. I’ll let her describe it and urge you to visit it regularly: 

The last 8 weeks, I’ve been constructing a website for briefly learning about and taking concrete, effective action against what seem to be the most urgent issues: the erosion of fundamental rights, including First Amendment Rights, Environment (climate change, endangered species…), Human Rights (immigrants’, Muslim Ban, women’s, healthcare, voting…including racism/sexism sections), Public Education, and Foreign Policy/Preventing War. The site includes also includes a ‘Political Action Primer: What/How,’ for action against the erosion of democracy in all its forms. The site is updated daily.

Please check it out and spread the word! UpHoldTheseRights

Today, with the US Marshals refusing to uphold the stay (and deferring to the US Atty General’s office), it appears the Executive Branch has successfully launched a coup over the legislative and judicial branches of our government.

Muslim Ban Airport Protests #MuslimBan

If you’re at an airport and you’re protesting, I admire you and your courage.  The rest of The Majority are with you in spirit. It is the right thing to do. It is the human thing to do. 

I am hoping that the police will show restraint and all remains peaceful. 

As-salamu alaykum

Vanity

It may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance. 

                                  – Baruch Spinoza

I had a better post in my head yesterday but I got busy at work and it evaporated. 

So much has happened in the last week that it’s almost too much to keep track of. It’s just one outrage after another. That’s likely by design. 

But what if we looked at the result of all these changes with a cool, rational eye?   

The change that impressed me the most this past week was the resignations of career State Department employees. The reason that caught my eye is because it meant the loss of institutional knowledge acquired after decades in some cases. One of those career diplomats was an acknowledged expert in nuclear non-proliferation. The resignations were requested suddenly and without any transition. The result is going to be gaping holes in our diplomatic leadership. 

This follows a freeze on civil service cost of living increases and undermining the department of energy, the EPA, the national park service. How much of our scientific research capacity is going to be privatized? 

Bit by bit, the foundations of the system are being destroyed. Whether this is due to the incompetence of a vain man or by design thru his advisors who champion “creative destruction”. 

Creative destruction reminds me of passive aggression. There’s no such thing as passive aggression. It’s all just aggression. Any creative destruction is best when it’s done by a performance artist at MoMA. 

The federal government of the United States is a complex system. It can’t withstand too many shocks before it starts to veer off course. We in the middle and the lower end of the socioeconomic strata will feel it first. What will this new administration demand of us then?

In the meantime, the vain man wants the love and adulation of his adoring supporters. But when the support goes south, as it inevitably will, he’ll turn on them for being weak and lazy. There will be no pleasing them.

Fear no nightly noises. 

Let’s close National Endowment for the Arts day with one of my favorite ballets. I saw Firebird for the first time in Saratoga during the Stravinsky festival when Balanchine was still choreographer for the NYCB. The sets and costumes were by Marc Chagall. But all that went over my head because I was young. The Balanchine/Robbins version is not available on YouTube. But there are nice Russian alternatives styled after the choreography of Fokine.

The basic story is Prince Ivan is hunting in the woods when he spots the firebird. He captures her and is about to kill her when she offers him a magic feather in exchange for her life. She will come to his aid when ever the prince summons her with the feather. So, he lets her go. The prince goes on to fall in love with one of 12 princesses held captive by the sorcerer Kastchei. Determined to free her, the prince uses the feather to summon the firebird. She uses her magical frenetic energy to make Kastchei’s demon horde do an infernal dance. They dance themselves into a frenzy until finally the firebird makes them all fall asleep with exhaustion. As she keeps them asleep with her magic, the prince finds the box where Kastchei’s soul is hidden inside of an egg. He breaks the egg and releases the princesses from the spell. The firebird shimmers one last time and flies away. The last scene features Stravinsky’s joyous wedding music. The firebird doesn’t attend the wedding. She’s a feral magical creature who has no time or interest in weddings.

In the piece below, the incomparable Diana Vishneva, dances the firebird. I love how with a flick of her wrists she shows how the firebird uses all of her energy to suppress the urge to fly away in order to put the demons to sleep and keep her promise to the prince. The infernal dance of the demons is followed by a soft and dreamy lullaby.

Sweet dreams everyone.