The Talking Dog

December 31, 2017, Happy new year

And we come to the end of the longest year, ever. The President, such as he is, has managed to literally slow down the passage of time, a feat literally at odds with the laws of physics and reality (which he doesn't believe in anyway).

Somehow, the republic is still here, though duly damaged, with forward prospects not the greatest, particularly if the usually feckless Democrats remain so and defy the same odds that their Presidential candidate did in 2016 and fail to take back either house of Congress in the coming midterm elections. Hopefully, the nation will avoid another major with either North Korea, Iran, someone else, or all of the above.

In my own life, I have completed over 16 years of blogging (as we fast come upon the 16th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay), and my 16th consecutive New York City Marathon (my 51st overall), and Mrs. TD and I have come to our 26th wedding anniversary and the Loquacious Pup's 18th birthday (and her first semester of college)! For me, a White man of the bourgeosie, although my overall blue state tax bill will be worse, most of life seems the same. Were I dependent on government benefits, or had a dubious immigration status (such as "green card holder"), or more vulnerable to the actions of the federal government, life would be far more tenuous, as it is for more and more people. For "milestones", I should say "my good friend" Donald J. Putin is perilously close to hitting 1,000 followers, in a tweeting enterprise that started a few days before... the inauguration last January.

In my own life, I have tried to step up volunteering activities, particularly in activities associated with immigrants to this country. And of course, I try to stay physically healthy, because this is not a country you want to get sick in. My hope, in the philosophy of "if everyone does it" is that a flood of niceness might overcome the flood of evil that our nation writ large has elected (albeit by winning plurality rather than actual majority of voters). No matter.

My own new years' resolutions will consist of resolving to stay loose, and recognize that we are in a fluid situation, and try to proceed accordingly. And try to do good... small measures count, and shame to anyone who says otherwise. All we can do is try to be our best, i.e., the best people we can be. And try to keep that up for another year.

Happy new year.

December 23, 2017, This year's Festivus airing of grievances will take too long

Happy Festivus, everyone. I hope your own Festivus pole has been taken out of the garage, and you are adequately warmed up for your feats of strength and have duly annotated your list of grievances for airing.

Given the state of the world right now, with the two largest English speaking nations having chosen to commit suicide as a result of well-executed Russian needling of our most racist and atavistic elements, Russia still unable to deliver clean water through its own plumbing but perhaps more than capable of having its submarines take out undersea data transmission cables, nonetheless looks poised to hold serve (even as it's not likely to take over the world outright anytime soon), I'll just keep it here, and wish you all...

Happy Festivus.

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December 21, 2017, Happy Solstice

Well, I've been remiss in blogging all month, but on the occasion on the darkest night of the year in this, the darkest year in the history of our republic, what the hell, right?

A Democratic Congresswoman from California suggests that the President will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller tomorrow or over the weekend, taking advantage of the Christmas media lull (and Congress leaving town) to do so. Of course, another analyst says that the President might avoid the potential firestorm of firing Mueller and instead fire Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, the man who appointed Mueller. Meanwhile, the President himself expressly denied the rumor about firing Mueller.

In other extra-constitutional news, a jury convicted acquitted six people who were on trial for protesting the inauguration who were charged with "guilt by association" because others (almost certainly right-wing agents provacateurs) broke some windows and inflicted other property damage; they were facing decades of potential prison time, in a deliberate DELIBERATE effort to flush the First Amendment down the toilet and criminalize protests against this Government and this President, Vladimir Putin style. The authoritarians now running Washington, however, plan to try again with the next batch of protesters.

Meanwhile (via Candace) Sec Def Mattis went down to GTMO to give a pep talk to the troops holding America's most famous gulag.

We won't even talk about a tax bill that will be used as an excuse to gut what's left of the welfare state where 83% of the benefits goes to the top 1% passed on purely partisan lines where Republican members of Congress and the President himself stand to personally benefit to the tune of millions and millions of dollars.) Or that a court just threw out a suit challenging the President's blatant abuse of the Emoluments clause, insisting that Congress had to do this, as if the feckless Ryan and McConnell were remotely interested in attacking a President of their own party.

And if these assaults on the rule of law weren't enough (and this is just a tiny fraction of what's going on), the President has been furious in the pace at which he has nominated right-wing maniacs go the bench and to U.S. Attorney posts.

When democracy has been allowed to play out in state-wide (as opposed to GOP gerrymandered) elections, the Democratic candidates have recently prevailed in really blue NJ, newly blue VA, and deep red AL; this is some cause for optimism, even as the Democrats do what Democrats do and take great relish and delight in shivving one of their own and force Al Franken to resign for nothing. Even as he noted, the President, with numerous allegations of sexual harassment and worse against him (including a famous video confession) remains in office, unscathed. Which, given everything else, really is a wonderful load of crap and fabulous diversion from a dismantling of many of the values of our republic (or what we thought of as the values of our republic).

Don't know. Maybe I'm just in a dark mood, it being the darkest day (and longest night) of the year. I don't know. I should feel a little better. Loquacious Pup is home from college for a time. I've tried to step up my own personal volunteer work this year (particularly with respect to new immigrants), and I've been spending a lot of time with my good friend Donald J. Putin on twitter. And hey, Festivus, followed by Christmas, are coming up fast. So... yeah.

Happy Solstice. I guess. Try to make this a better world. The world itself seems to need the help right now.

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