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October 22, 2019

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Ugh, indeed !
:-)

(From a confirmed cricket fanatic.)

We were discussing the route to 100% renewables recently.

One of the questions was on intermittency, and the problem of energy storage. This technology is part of the solution, and pretty well immediately deliverable:
https://www.highviewpower.com/news_announcement/highview-power-unveils-cryobattery-worlds-first-giga-scale-cryogenic-battery/

They are building a 50MW pilot plant in the UK.
https://www.highviewpower.com/news_announcement/highview-power-to-develop-multiple-cryogenic-energy-storage-facilities-in-the-uk-and-to-build-europes-largest-storage-system/

It's easily scalable in multiples of 50MW - and if you were to site it alongside a thermal power plant which dumps waste heat (nuclear for preference, as it's non-carbon, and always on), the waste heat could be used to improve the efficiency of the power regeneration.

Nigel, allow me to invite you to write something for the front page about this stuff. You consistently bring information I, at least, was unaware of.

Open thread, so:

I have just read an account of Bill Taylor's testimony to congress on the Ukraine affair. As I suspected when I first read the exchange of texts between Sondland and Taylor on the hold-up of the aid, and the quid pro quo, I think this is the real silver bullet. And as a small side issue from part of the testimony, to echo something lj said recently, you know things are getting deeply weird when John Bolton starts looking like the good guy...

Aha!

This admission is like reading Donald in the other thread (he, the longest-running tied-score ... neither ... both .. sides, bullpens exhausted, all pinch hitters used and showered, can't seem to score the winning, deciding run as we go into the bottom of the 5467th inning ... political baseball game in history) finally plucked out of the stands and pinch-running for the Democratic team and stealing home (admitting he'll vote for the Democrat, whomever she is in 2020) with a head-first slide for the win!

Game Over! Cubs Win, Cubs Win!

That's a joke, Donald.

But, ugh, what already? What!?

"... baseball fa-"

fa ....ther?

fa ....natic?

fa ....r, a long,long way to run?

fa ....rrago?

fa ....twa?

fa ....csimile?

fa ....scist?

fa ....bulist?

fa ....ntods?

So, let me ask a couple of questions about this, your way-overdue, but inevitable succumbing to the beautiful, mythic charms of the game (Game? Way of Life, more like) of Baseball.

Do you, as a Dad, at your kids' games (I take it they are still little guys) find yourself coming out of your lawn chair on the sidelines, beverage tossed aloft, and bellowing Dad approval (only approval, of course; I hate those barking, pacing Dads constantly riding their own kids for every single move they make or don't make on the field), when, by some near convergence of the baseball (small "g") gods and your kids' realization about how the game is played, the ball, say, somehow lands in your kid's glove AND they, newly formed baseball synapses firing for the first time, also think to double the runner off second?

Have one of your kids beseeched you, diplomatically, natch, that while they sure appreciate your enthusiasm on their behalf at their games, could you maybe move your lawn chair to the far end of the parking lot, still within sight of the field, but out of their hearing?

Have you volunteered to coach third base while your kids' team is at bat, and when one of them manages to round third, heading in the general direction of home plate, have an irresistible impulse to pick the kid up from under his arms and run .. carrying him to home base for the score?

Do you, kind of without noticing, find yourself wearing your old baseball cleats to your kid's games, perhaps stowing your old baseball glove in the trunk of the car, just in case, and perhaps in a kind of Walter Mitty reverie, anticipating that their coach late in the game might just give YOU the high sign from the dugout late in the game to come in and take the mound to close out the final three outs in the final inning for the win?

Against kids barely half your size? Hmmmm?

Happily, I had my own baseball games to worry about, but I could see other Dads doing this sort of thing when my son was playing.

When you watch a major league baseball game, since you are now a fa fa FA fa, fa fa FA fa, are your finally appreciating those time-consuming downtime moments during the game when say, the pitching coach and the entire infield and catcher converge on the mound to consult with the pitcher about where they are going to dinner after the game, or when, between every pitch, the batter steps out of the box to spit, scratch, adjust every article of clothing, stare at the barrel of the bat, and do some desultory landscaping, perhaps some weeding, in the dirt around home plate?

No?

Well, you still have to earn that missing "n" then, I venture.

%-)

After all, why are you in such a hurry to have the game end and go home?

I'm with you, though, on the interminable commercial breaks during baseball broadcasts.

Nationals in 7.

But if it's Astros in 7, then good for us, because we get 7 before we have to wait all the way to April Fool's Day for the Beatles to reunite.

I have just read an account of Bill Taylor's testimony to congress on the Ukraine affair.

Bill Taylor, the unelected radical bureaucrat who is in cahoots with far-left lawmakers? All lies!

I mean, shouldn't we want our president to fight corruption? That's all he was trying to do.

Bill Taylor, the unelected radical bureaucrat who is in cahoots with far-left lawmakers? All lies!

Yup, those career diplomats are well-known as radical leftists...

JDT...the first writing of yours I ever saw was about baseball, and I had forgotten how miraculous and wonderful it is (your writing about baseball, that is, not necessarily baseball itself ;-).

On that earlier occasion I laughed from start to finish, but this is in a different key, and just as good.

Thanks for a great start to my day.

In a rational world, Bill Taylor's testimony would see the last remaining Republican hold-outs abandoning the loathsome thing in the White House.

That is not the world we live in.

However, there must be some prospect of more and more rats defecting.

I'm with you, though, on the interminable commercial breaks during baseball broadcasts.

That's what comes of no longer being in school. I always found (back in college) that the amount of time between something actually happening was really close to the time it took to do one problem in my engineering problem sets. Stop and listen, then on to the next problem.

It was like it was deliberately designed that way. But I expect it was just another example of how awesome the universe is.

In a rational world, Bill Taylor's testimony would see the last remaining Republican hold-outs abandoning the loathsome thing in the White House.

Well it will be amusing to see what new contortion Senator Graham comes up with. Now that his “If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing” threshold has been met. (Emphasis added. Not entirely sure why the phone call's quid pro quo, which he acknowledges, wasn't sufficient...)

I have no doubt he'll try. Or at least decide that "very disturbing" isn't enough for removal. But the contortions that he and his buddies are being reduced to are getting quite hilarious.

Then again, it's possible that Graham's statement was in anticipation of the need to change course without looking like a flip-flopper. Giving himself an emergency exit from Trumpland, as it were.

Giving himself an emergency exit from Trumpland, as it were.

I'd like to think he was preparing for what he ought to know by now is inevitable. But I'm not sure I can see him with even that tiny bit of moral fiber lurking somewhere.

Not entirely sure why the phone call's quid pro quo, which he acknowledges, wasn't sufficient

i suspect it's because that particular bit of evidence has already been totally dismissed by the GOP base.

the GOP Senate isn't going to budge on what's here now. what we, and they, already know is thoroughly damning. but they've committed to ignoring it.

they know the base will absolutely never let the Dems be shown to be right about something this big. and they're all amoral cowards. so, they've signed up for months of arguing the implausible to defend the indefensible, just to avoid having to deal with the Trump Cult at the ballot box.

profiles in courage.

So much for my speculation:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/confronted-inconvenient-evidence-graham-moves-the-goalposts

Graham's current line is: "Why does the Ukrainian president not come forth?"
Do you feel threatened by the guy holding a loaded gun to your head? The guy who also kidnapped your family and wrote you a letter that he will feed them to ravenous dogs, if you say anything negative about him? No? Then I do not know what all the fuss is about. The gentleman is just excercising his 2nd amendment rights (and yesterday exercised his 1st by donating a nice sum of money to my campaign).

So much for my speculation:

heh. Graham ain't gonna break for no mere evidence.

GOP 202: the implausible in defense of the indefensible.

profiles in courage.

I thought this was the last best word.

But the implausible in defense of the indefensible has to be a contender.

A little light reading, on the overall situation in the State Department.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2019-10-14/demolition-us-diplomacy

At least we still have "unelected bureaucrats" who continue to that their oaths to defend the Constitution seriously.

Even Moscow Mitch is distancing himself
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mitch-mcconnell-denies-telling-trump-ukraine-phone-call-was-innocent-or-perfect/

You can't make this stuff up.

President Trump’s private attorney said Wednesday that the president could not be investigated or prosecuted as long as he is in the White House, even for shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

...

“Local authorities couldn’t investigate? They couldn’t do anything about it?” [Judge Denny Chin] asked, adding, “Nothing could be done? That is your position?”

“That is correct,” Consovoy answered

Well, at least now we know why Trump figures he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and it wouldn't matter.

Good Foreign Affairs article, wj. And the following is very relevant to the Donald-cleek conversation in the other thread:

Russian President Vladimir Putin, professionally trained to manufacture compromising material on all sorts of opponents, couldn’t have produced a more disruptive document than the summary of the Trump-Zelensky call last July, which has sowed political dysfunction in both Washington and Kiev.

By using his public office for personal gain, Trump has affirmed Putin’s long-held conviction—shared by autocrats the world over—that Americans are just as venal and self-absorbed as they are, just more hypocritical about it. For dictators, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving, a non-stop advertisement for Western self-dealing. So much for enlightened self-interest. So much for the power of our example. So much for our credibility.

Clowns.

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/23/impeachment-republicans-trump-055688

Clowns.

Yeah, and clowns aren't funny. This is dead serious, and possibly the scariest thing that has happened so far, for what it implies about how Rs are going to behave going forward, and what their end game is.

They're all for law and order, until they aren't.

“I represent nearly a million Floridians who are asking me my thoughts on this process, and yet I can’t relay to them anything except what’s being leaked to the media. It is really a travesty,” said Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), a member of the Armed Services panel.

i play a mournful tune on my tiny little violin for you, Mike.

telling isn't it, that none of the Republicans attending these hearings are leaking anything? tells you there's nothing good for them coming out of it.

Rep Sean Mahoney (D) on NPR yesterday:

MALONEY: Well, it all will be public in the - but what we're doing right now is having staff-led depositions...

CHANG: Right.

MALONEY: ...And interviews that are done much more efficiently. By the way, the Republicans are in the room. Their counsel is given equal time. The Republicans are there asking questions. They're participating as full partners in this with the exception of having the power to issue subpoenas, which, of course, is always a majority prerogative. And it is everybody's intention that we will rapidly move to a public phase when this is all laid out. All these transcripts, I assume, will be released. Many of us on the Democratic side are more than happy to have all the facts out. I think the facts will be a problem for the president. And the reason they're talking about process and engaged in, you know, character assassination of Chairman Schiff is because the facts bury them, and those who are in the room know that.

Yeah, and clowns aren't funny.

the GOP's insistence on fairy tales and lurid conspiracies is going to get someone hurt. they're going to keep pushing the ludicrous idea that it's a coup, and someone with a gun and not much to lose is going to believe it.

someone with a gun and not much to lose is going to believe it.

One of the miracles of the 21st century is that no whacko got close to taking a shot at President Obama. I'm still amazed.

One of the miracles...

I agree. Furthermore, I think that if anything, it's even more of a miracle in relation to Hillary. It's like the whacko racists can get their fix by acting out their racism generically, in everyday life, while ordinary everyday misogyny doesn't come close to covering the very personalized hatred the whackos feel for Hillary.

oh boy. Trump knew about and encouraged the dipshit caucus to violate security procedures on his behalf.

https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1187066983935873024

but her eeeeeeeeemmailllllllz

oh boy. Trump knew about and encouraged the dipshit caucus to violate security procedures on his behalf.

What? You think they have the brains to figure out on their own that his best chance at this point is anything that might delay proceedings? Not bloody likely.

i'm sure it won't take very long for Schiff to throw another Obstruction on the pile. five minutes, tops.

One a more conventional electoral politics note...

I thought this article in a Politico quite interesting:
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/23/democrats-regional-inequality-plan-229869

It’s only one perspective, of course, but I wonder what Democratic thinking on this is ?
The only liberal commentator I’ve read writing extensively on it is James Fallows at the Atlantic. That, of course, could just be my ignorance.

Anyone ?

Nigel, allow me to invite you to write something for the front page about this stuff. You consistently bring information I, at least, was unaware of.

I’m flattered, russell.

I’ll have to decline for the time being, as it’s a huge topic, and I have a very busy November/December... and a father with Alzheimer’s... so I’m finding it a challenge to put together connected thoughts of any great length at the moment.
I will mull it over, and it’s not as though the issue is going away any time soon.

My feeling on the "politics of place" is that we have long focused on the importance of making it possible, easy even, for individuals or (nuclear) families to move from one place to another. That way, people could go where the economic opportunities are. And certainly
a) restricting people's ability to move is an economic negative, and
b) one of the things that has made the US unusual, and our economy dynamic, is that internal migrations were relatively normal.

But two things are overlooked. First, the rise in home ownership has tended to result in people having a lot of their personal wealth tied up in their homes. However, if everybody is moving away, there's nobody left to buy your house and let you get that wealth out.

In addition, a lot of NIMBY zoning laws result in restricted housing in the destination areas. Therefore house prices are far higher there than elsewhere -- which means that even if you can sell your old house for something like its worth, you still may not have enough to buy one where you want to go. And those same NIMBY zoning laws have often, in my observation, resulted in a distinct lack of apartments as well. In combination, you end up with a lot of people with 2 hour plus commutes.

In addition, sometimes there are non-economic factors which cause people to want not to move. Not just sentimental attachment to the place either. For one example, if you have elderly relatives that you are helping care for, you can't really uproot them as well.

Nigel, on the father with Alzheimer's, very much sympathy and may the force be with you.

Let's recall who in particular was at the Brooks Brothers riot in Florida to steal that election, too:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS774US774&q=photo+of+kavanaugh+at+the+brooks+brothers+riot+in+florida&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-xpepr7PlAhURoZ4KHVqUCiEQsAR6BAgIEAE&biw=1280&bih=616

John Cole is correct, arrest and jail the current republican rioters on Capitol Hill.

If they resist, doesn't the Sergeant-at-Arms have some "arms" to shoot them with, which would comport with conservative republican gun love, since they violated national security with their cellphones and their presence in off-limit areas?

Maybe some stun guns to start with?

Watching Gaetz wet himself as he tap dances a seizure on the floor would be good for a goof.

Didn't Scalise get enough in that baseball game when the patriot showed up?

Where are all of the conservative subhuman vermin Oaf Keepers militia from Ferguson and Oregon and elsewhere to maintain order on Capitol Hill?

Holding their fire until they start murdering liberals, brown people, and transitioning men and women if impeachment makes headway, I expect.

Because as Rod Dreher laments, p may be the only bulwark standing between America and the fags, so, gee, maybe if p does kill a guy on 5th Avenue, we'll need to stand firm for the President to fend off ruin.

Is it possible that inside Graham there’s a decent guy, who sometimes surface in moments of stress ?
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/467176-graham-walks-back-thats-nuts-comment-on-gop-congressmen-storming-impeachment

Then he remembers himself, and the deal he made with that .. being to remain where he is. And ruthlessly squashes that part of himself back down.

GFTNC, thanks.

Baseball fascist, yes! :-)

10 and 8. Praise only during games, some frustration when practicing with them (no you really do not know how to throw a slider Mr. 8YO, not that *I* do...).

But yes, the younger one made all three outs one inning last weenked (sure they were all slow rollers to third base force outs - but still!). The older one's teammates piled on the first baseman when he made the final out in the bottom of the six - holding the other team to zero runs and preserving a one run win (nevermind that he dropped an easy pop-up and had to track it down and step on first).

Still need to coach third base.

And... never played as a kid. Still baffled as how this could be the sport of choice for kids for so long (perhaps soccer has taken it over these day) when they can't (a) throw; (b) catch; (c) hit; and if they happen "by some near convergence of the baseball...gods" to accomplish any of a/b/c they don't know what to do next (other than run to first, sometimes in a straight line).

And yet they are enjoying it - which was my biggest worry as their first foray into team sports (due to parental negligence and the older one's mild dyspraxia). Maybe they have more patience than their father!

I could do without the desultory landscaping but at least Juan Soto is entertaining.

Nats in 5!

And... never played as a kid. Still baffled as how this could be the sport of choice for kids for so long (perhaps soccer has taken it over these day) when they can't (a) throw; (b) catch; (c) hit; and if they happen "by some near convergence of the baseball...gods" to accomplish any of a/b/c they don't know what to do next (other than run to first, sometimes in a straight line).

This is wonderful -- I laughed out loud.

Two observations:

1) Times have changed so much that I don't think we have much feel for what the world was like when, say, my dad's generation were kids, and there were no video games, no TV, no nothin' much except to go down to the empty lot and play ball. (Or every now and then go to the brick pond and swim. Of course all these things were only for boys.)

Even when I was a kid it was a lot like that, and there was really no competition from any other sports. Soccer and hockey were unheard of. Basketball? When you're older. Football? Well, I remember my boy cousins playing a sort of pickup football when we were maybe ten or so, but they were all throwing baseballs around long before that.

I asked for a baseball glove when I was about ten, and my dad (ever mindful of gender norms until much later when he decided it would be lucrative for me to become a chemical engineer; he was disappointed in that wish) wouldn't spend the money on a new glove for me, because he was sure I wouldn't be interested in baseball for long. So I inherited a ratty old glove from my cousin Louis, who was then nine and had already worn one out.

2) If you (Ugh) didn't play when you were a kid, that probably makes a difference to how fast your kids pick it up, besides the general cultural milieu. My kids' dad was a baseball player even on into college (but only for a bit), and after that a wicked good fast-pitch softball pitcher. I put him second only to Thullen in knowledge about baseball (and don't tell him I said that). My kids knew how to throw and hit pretty well by the time they were old enough to play "minor league" baseball (age eight or so). My daughter insisted on playing baseball and not softball for the first few years, but that's a story for another time. Except: to the chagrin of a couple of the boys and the delight of others, she was the fastest kid on her baseball team. And (not unrelated) she never got thrown out trying to steal second in softall (and rarely if ever in baseball, but I don't remember that part for sure). I loved to watch her steal second, because it required a skillset that I totally lack. Including freedom from literal-mindedness. ;-)

Geez, what is it about baseball?

On a less happy note, our family's experience with kids' sports wasn't great by the time they both quit playing basketball partway through high school. The politics can be vicious, and not having played sports as a kid, I was unprepared and very bad at and about it. (Being learning disabled about politics of all kinds is a big handicap in many areas of life, I find.)

Unsolicited advice -- keep some emotional distance, stay cool, let it be fun, and don't let other people taking it too seriously tempt you to take it too seriously.

It’s only one perspective, of course, but I wonder what Democratic thinking on this is ?

I don't see much from either party on the topic.

I have no expertise that is really relevant to the question, but my non-expert analysis is that it's not very easy to make a living in the areas under question.

Everybody has to eat.

And I don't think that teaching everybody to code is gonna be the answer.

I got nothing, TBH, but I do recognize that places that aren't based around the fabled "knowledge economy", whether that's tech or finance or whatever, are not getting a lot of love, from either party.

The (R) contribution appears to be telling all of those folks that the (D)'s hate them. So, they should therefore hate the (D)'s and all of their liberal coastal arugula eating ilk. I don't really see that as particularly constructive, either.

The (R) contribution appears to be telling all of those folks that the (D)'s hate them. So, they should therefore hate the (D)'s and all of their liberal coastal arugula eating ilk. I don't really see that as particularly constructive, either.

Sadly, it does have one thing over the Democratic neglect. At least hating on the Dems is something they can DO. It's totally non-constructive. But it can look more attractive than doing nothing at all.

The good news is, it wouldn't take much to come up with something more constructive. The bad news is, it does have to be something better than obviously unrealistic pie in the sky.

Don't know how the game went thru the top of the 6th. But the 7th (which is still not over!) is making it real clear which team has it together and which one is in over their head. Impressive.

Well, now we know. Apparently part of the reason thete hasn't been more wall built along the Mexican border is that Trump has building part of his wall in . . . Colorado. (Or has Colorado moved to the border since I last looked at a map...? Is that even possible -- outside the Trump fantasy universe, of course.)

Oops! And the link
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/trump-were-building-a-wall-in-colorado-a-big-one.html

If you wish to understand the phenomenon of Boris Johnson, this is perhaps the only story you need to read:
https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/06/my-boris-story/

If he were not in a position of power, it might even be amusing.

Baseball is not always so cival (sic)...

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/mlb-umpire-tweets-buying-ar-15-gun-civil-war-trump-impeachment.html

Very worthwhile on Boris Johnson, Nigel. Thank you!

Boris Johnson and Benny Hill, twins separated at birth? Was "Yakkity Sax" playing when they were in utero? Inquiring minds want to know!

The power of faith...

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/24/trump-evangelical-christian-support-056121
99 percent of GOP-leaning white evangelical Protestants oppose impeaching and removing Trump from office and 63 percent say he has done nothing to damage the dignity of the presidency...

.. or rather faiths, since around 30% of white evangelicals overall would kick him out.

but if all white evangelical Protestants are laughable frauds, who will steer the country towards the Christian godliness that the founders demanded?

Bill Barr is one of many who needs to go to jail.

99 percent of GOP-leaning white evangelical Protestants oppose impeaching and removing Trump from office and 63 percent say he has done nothing to damage the dignity of the presidency.

And hete we see the true meaning of "blind faith"

Barr will be executed.

I'm not having my tax dollars stolen to provide that Opus Dei/Nixon plumbers fuck three squares a day.

".... all white evangelical Protestants are laughable frauds,"

But it's guaranteed fraud, courtesy of Guiliani's "associates' " Fraud Guarantee, so what's the problem?

The orthodox all-in-on-p Buchanan Catholics over at The anti-American Conservative carry policies with the same company, I expect.

Fraud Guarantee: The Jeopardy question of the year, for a trillion dollars, to the answer: What title did the prescient Thomas Jefferson prefer for what came to be known as his Republican Party?

From Trumpista Hugh Hewitt today, a column entitled:
If Republicans don’t stand by Trump, they risk losing their base forever.

From his lips to God's ears.

Stand by your man,
And show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man

If you wish to understand the phenomenon of Boris Johnson, this is perhaps the only story you need to read

An interesting and revealing story, absolutely no doubt about it. But nobody should be fooled into thinking he is JUST a buffoon. The story shows his laziness and disregard for detail of any kind (for which he is famed), but it also shows how very calculating he is. He is amoral, power-hungry and slapdash, but he judged the response of the audiences right in that story, and has succeeded in becoming PM, despite many testimonies to his character faults which should have disqualified him (first and foremost that he was sacked from two jobs for lying). He is a clever, dangerous and apparently vengeful man, unconstrained by moral considerations. He can do us an enormous amount of damage before it's over.

GftNC, that description of Boris could be applied, pretty much word for word, to Trump. The only real difference being that Trump has more scooe to do damage.

wj: yes I thought about that, and Trump is of course more powerful, but the big difference is that Boris is actually, according to many people who know or have known him, very clever. This makes him dangerous in a different way.

But BJ has still a wee more brain than DJT.
Think what damage the latter could do, if the brain situation was in reverse.

'wee bit more brain' is properly more correct as far as grammar is concerned.

That should of course be 'probably' to be proper.

But BJ has still a wee more brain than DJT.

Talk about a low bar....

nobody should be fooled into thinking he is JUST a buffoon..

I don't think the story shows him as a buffoon at all.

Up until halfway through that is the impression, of course - and then the rug gets pulled from under you.

It's a very good piece of writing, and admirably leaves the reader to draw their own moral.

Boris Johnson - scholarship to Oxford - is vastly more intelligent than Donald Trump - had to pull strings to transfer to Wharton (I don't know what that is) where he was reportedly "the dumbest goddam student I ever had".

But he's no more honest or trustworthy.

Nigel: well, some people might have drawn the conclusion that he was a not very bright joker who had found a routine that worked for him and resolutely stuck to it. The latter part of which is true, of course.

Pro Bono: Wharton is, I am told, very impressive Ivy League stuff. But my informants tell me: not the way he got there.

Wharton is U of Penn's business school.

Humorous side story: A good friend of mine got his master's in nursing from Penn's nursing school a couple years ago. I attended the commencement. When they started the announcements for the Wharton grads, there was a chorus of half-joking "Boo"s from the other schools' graduates (and some of guests). It was followed by a little bit of laughter, as though contempt for Wharton was a running joke of sorts at Penn. I don't know if it was at least in part a reflection of Rump's graduation from Wharton.

Wharton, the graduate business school, is extremely good. But turns out that wasn't what Trump attended. He was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. And, as noted, a particularly lackluster one. No way he was ever getting in to grad school.

Wharton confers bachelor's degrees. It is both an undergraduate and graduate school. It's highly ranked as both an undergraduate and graduate institution.

From wikipedia:

Wharton is widely regarded as one of the world's top institutions for business education. In 2014–2015, as well as 2017–2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Wharton's undergraduate program first in the U.S.,[11] MBA program tied for first in the U.S.,[10] and executive MBA program also first,.[81] The undergraduate program at the Wharton School has been ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report every single year since inception.

So, yes, Rump was an undergraduate at U Penn, but at Wharton more specifically. And it's an extremely prestigious school, be it for undergraduate studies or graduate studies.

Money is an advantage.

The wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump regime, criticizing the NBA for serving self-interest and allowing themselves to be cowed into silence by authoritarians...

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/24/773025664/pence-chides-nba-nike-for-losing-their-voices-on-china

Trump transferred into Wharton, his brother was a student and pulled strings with one of his professors to get Donald's transfer approved.

Trump lied multiple times about graduating first in class from Wharton. which he most definitely did not. also, he did two years at Fordham before transferring to Wharton.

He shouldn't even have been able to get into Fordham. Money is an advantage.

Yes, an ex-ward of mine got into Wharton as an undergraduate - the rejoicing of her Chinese family was something to behold. They kept an unequalled eagle eye on school rankings etc, so I knew about its reputation. She was a brilliant kid, with top marks in everything and a ferocious work ethic, so if Wharton was anything like that back in the day no wonder Trump tries to boast about it. But I too have heard, like Pro Bono, how inadequate Trump was when he was there.

Thanks, all, for educating me about Wharton. (Obviously my acquaintance with business schools is even more limited than I knew.)

Things are even worse over here than I thought.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/24/majority-of-voters-think-violence-against-mps-is-price-worth-paying-for-brexit

I am... perplexed.

wow. that's nuts.

i wonder what a similar poll would look like over here...

The detail is worth reading, as it suggests the answers need to be taken with a pinch of salt - six percent of respondents claiming they want to be significantly poorer irrespective of Brexit, for example:
https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1708631/Copy-of-England-16-Oct-AH.pdf

Another friend of mine who graduated from Penn as an engineer had a friend, possibly a roommate, who tutored Donald, Jr. He did not report an impressive intellect on junior's part - at least not impressive in a good way. I guess it left an impression of some sort.

"I am ... perplexed"

The first shots (and knives drawn) have already been fired.

They murdered Jo Cox.

All else will be self defense, because the radical, nationalist, crypto-religious, white-supremacist (and their fellow travelers) asshole right wing around the globe will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

"I wonder what a similar poll ...?"

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/civil-war-voters-say-were-getting-close-2019-10-24?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Polling from the top:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/why-trump-facing-impeachment-warns-of-civil-war

The first President since Jefferson Davis to threaten Civil War on American soil, tell me I'm wrong.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/who-is-robert-jeffress-civil-war-trump-impeachment.html

Even a baseball umpire and his AR-15 have chimed in.

If I'm a Latino, black, or white liberal ballplayer and that guy is calling balls and strikes on me, he'd better be fucking prepared to use that weapon on the ball field because things are going to goddamned fucking bloody escalate quickly to his mortal detriment.

An armed society is a bullet-riddled society, as we see proved week to week in this republican shit hole country.

The only "polite" words uttered are by kindergartners pleading "Please, don't shoot and kill me," as they tuck and roll and try to get their cute armored backpacks between NRA/Republican Party-armed gunmen and themselves.

I have a story about a run-in (my second one in recent years) that I experienced with an armed p cult member in California on my recent travels. It was short, completely unprovoked by me (I don't raise politics with these people), and out of the blue, but very threateningly instructive about the full intentions of these dumb shit dangerous ilk.

They are ready to kill.

I'll tell you about it in my final comment here, as soon as tie up loose ends and get a few more things off my chest.

The first President since Jefferson Davis to threaten Civil War on American soil, tell me I'm wrong.

OK, you're wrong.

Davis was a Congressman and Senator, and a cabinet member. But never President (at least of the US). And he didn't actually advocate (or threaten) a civil war. He even counselled delaying succession because he thought the north wouldn't allow it without a war.

Makes Trump actually worse on that score.

"(at least of the US)"

That was implicit in what I wrote.

He was President of the Confederacy, one month before Lincoln became US President, when he ordered Union troops to surrender Fort Sumter.

His General ordered the first shots of the Civil War.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/33a.asp

He didn't advocate or threaten Civil War?

And p didn't invite Russia to hack Clinton's emails either, so goes what is right in front of our eyes.

What did Davis think was going to happen when a Federal Naval facility was fired on with Confederate guns?

It wasn't a harmless bird preserve like the Malheur, which Obama, by the way, should have sent the National Guard into to slaughter the republican tax-deadbeat conservative vigilantes on the first day.

Close enough.

Dana Milbank asks: Could Lindsey Graham be any more shameful?

Sometimes, your knee-jerk reaction is: No! And then you realize that once again you are probably suffering a failure of imagination.

I am waiting for Tuesday (my guess) to see whether France folds, or holds out for something that holds Corbyn's toes to the fire.

Just parking this here for the irony:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/24/offshore-windfarms-can-provide-more-electricity-than-the-world-needs
“Offshore wind provides a huge new business portfolio for major engineering firms and established oil and gas companies which have a strong offshore production experience,” he said. “Our analysis shows that 40% of the work in offshore wind construction and maintenance has synergies with oil and gas practises.”...

Though it correctly emphasises that renewable energy will be a massive driver of economic activity over the next couple of decades.

A short break from politics involving my Penn-engineer friend I mentioned yesterday. We were out last night for another friend's birthday, and he mentioned a 10-mile run he's doing Sunday morning. It's the 50th year of the annual run from Haddonfield, NJ to Red Bank Battlefield Park in National Park, NJ. This run has a very cool story behind it.

The run approximates the run Jonas Cattell made in 1777. More detail from http://www.haddonfield.njdar.org/jonas_cattell.html :

Jonas Cattell was born in 1758, on a farm called Lavender Hills. The farm was located just outside Woodbury, New Jersey, in what is now the town of Deptford. While growing up, Jonas loved the outdoors and exploring the woods and trails in the area. He was known as a fast runner; in more recent times, he was listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not for hand-delivering a letter from Woodbury to Cape May and back, 160 miles, on foot, in two days. And at the age of 18, in October 1777, Jonas became a hero.

At that time, a force of Hessian troops was camped in Haddonfield. Jonas was said to have been apprenticed to a blacksmith in Haddonfield, but had stayed there too late and was arrested by the soldiers for violating curfew. His punishment was to spend the night in jail until first light. During the night, Jonas overheard the Hessian and British soldiers discussing a surprise, early morning attack they were planning for the following day. They planned to march to Fort Mercer on the Delaware River and overthrow the American patriots who were stationed there.

Jonas Cattell was familiar with all of the back trails in the area. In fact, he was known to have created a number of the trails. When he was released the following morning, Jonas used those back trails and ran the ten miles from Haddonfield to Fort Mercer so he could warn the patriots. Thanks to his knowledge of the area, he arrived well before the Hessians. This warning allowed the Americans to strategically position themselves to defend their fort. Even though the American patriots were outnumbered by three to one, because they were able to prepare for the battle against the Hessians, they were able to defeat the Hessian and British soldiers, and to inflict massive casualties while suffering minimal losses within their own ranks.

p threatens to crash the Astros/Nationals 5th game of the World Series on Sunday.

With the Nationals up 2-Zip, maybe they can sweep the thing in four and kind of, you know, as Washington DC's team, Deep-State p's day.

Then, on Sunday, with baseball in the can for the winter, Houston could hold an homage to the AR-15 and domestic abuse, the two top planks in the RNC's platform, starring our friendly ("I just call ball and strikes") umpire, and the now fired Osuna-supporter in Houston's management.

Mike Pence could do a flyover in his angel suit.

We don't need no stinking War Room:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/10/top-shelf-by-bloggersrus.html

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the War Room! The Civil War Room is down the hall!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAeqVGP-GPM

Bannon is back.

I don't know how he got out of threatening violence in Europe without encountering a bullet to the head, but that's our job anyway.

Game's on.

In the first Civil War, not counting smallish skirmishes, the first major battle after Fort Sumter was the first Manasses in Virginia, I believe.

Trump won that one.

But, more, as they say, after the commercial break.

After years of watching my son play rugby I'm finding the rugby world cup - semi-finals this weekend - quite enjoyable.

Junior rugby is played in age-groups, which doesn't work all that well, in that at 13, say, some boys are man-sized or nearly so, while the average is about five feet tall and 100 pounds. So when he started playing competitively, my son was fearlessly tackling much larger opponents, while I watched in trepidation.

Now I see a largish, thuggish-looking 17-year-old flanker making a mess of opponents' ball. My baby.

Don't tell him I said that.

With the Nationals up 2-Zip, maybe they can sweep the thing in four and kind of, you know, as Washington DC's team, Deep-State p's day.

I confess that was pretty much my exact thought when I first saw he was thinking of going to game 5.

But consider. If it does come to a 5th game, would they want him throwing out the first pitch? Would he demand to be allowed to? (Does his ignorance of history include how it went for Bush I -- who, be it noted, was a pitcher in college?) He works so hard to find new ways to embarrass himself, it seems like something he would insist on.

And then, here's my answer:
José Andrés, a Trump critic, to throw first pitch at World Series game Trump is expected to attend

My baby.

Don't tell him I said that.

This made me smile. One of my god-daughters will be 21 in June; I remember at a party 6 weeks after she was born prematurely (I met her when she was an hour old) seeing her fitting entirely in one of her godfather's' hands (one of his hands, and one of her godfathers), and when I see her now (which I do often, she lives in the North Country) I still unabashedly squish her and kiss her to pieces. I am so lucky, she puts up with it very good-naturedly.

About this freedom of speech thing, does anyone know what it means these days ?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/women-comedian-actors-confront-harvey-weinstein-at-new-york-event.html
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who faces a rape trial in New York City in January, was confronted when he showed up at an event for emerging actors and artists in Manhattan Wednesday night. Weinstein attended the monthly Actor’s Hour event at a Lower East Side bar, alighting at a table with an entourage as stand-up comics performed sets. The comedians were reportedly instructed not to mention Weinstein, who has been accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of women, many of them young and aspiring actors....

....Alexandra Laliberte, the organizer of Actor’s Hour, explained to BuzzFeed News the reasoning behind allowing Weinstein to attend an event of the very sort he once specifically preyed on. “I welcome all walks of life into my space,” she said. “I protect them by freedom of speech.”

Perhaps one of you folks in the UK can clear up for me just where things are.

On one hand, I see that Boris has called for a new election (for mid-December).

On the other hand, under current law it takes 2/3 (3/4?) of the MPs voting in favor in order for a new election to happen early like that. And I see that Labour won't vote for that. (Which makes some sense. If I were the Labour Party, I wouldn't want to go into an election with Jeremy as leader either, since he's somehow even less popular than Boris. And Jeremy himself seems happy as Leader of the Opposition, but with almost as little interest in actually governing as Trump.(

So, are you guys having a new election or not? And if you are, how did Parliament come up with the votes to do so?

Quote of the day:

Trump said he wasn’t worried about growing criminal investigations around his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, because “Rudy is a great gentleman. He’s been a great crime fighter, he looks for corruption wherever he goes.”
Ummm, shouldn't that be "he looks for corruption opportunities wherever he goes"?

wj: I believe it requires 2/3 of the house to approve it, and Labour says they won't agree to it until "no deal" is taken off the table. Much jockeying is still taking place; as I understand it, the outcome is still in doubt.

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