The Talking Dog

August 19, 2018, Dog Days of August

I am pleased to say that Familia TD spent a pleasant (if frenetic) week outside of the jurisdiction of the Trump Administration in the (quite literally) great White North... nay, even further north, where I ran in the 35th Reykjavik Marathon (the plus/minus six hour finishing time consistent with what I've come to expect as a heavier than I'd like to be man in my mid-50's). Mrs. TD and the soon-returning-to-college Loquacious Pup and I all enjoyed some fabulously clean, brisk air and amazingly good food amidst one of the world's most fascinating landscapes (including volcanos and geothermal emanations that often result in... spas!!!)

During the marathon race portion of the adventure, I encountered a pair of runners (in the half portion of the event) dressed in togas, as a god and goddess to be determined. The goddess appears to also be a proprietor of a fascinating web-site.

But after a somewhat stressful time with a low-end rental car that I found difficult to drive (and impossible on all but paved roads, of which Iceland has many, but still many more unpaved roads) at least we got a week of relief from the national circus of a press corps forever waiting with baited breath on the ravings of a huckster and circus ringmaster who, if he is not an outright traitor in service of Russia, maybe even scarier, because then he can only be explained as pathologically stupid (as well as amoral). Hey TD... why can't he be ALL OF THOSE? Well, the evidence certainly supports it.

Alrighty then. I will continue the little I can to provide comfort to those afflicted with our deliberately cruel immigration system, especially those held in detention by it, and to do good deeds in general. And I will check in on my vegetables after a long hiatus (which I understand included rain here in the New York area while we were gone).

I was about to try to get into some news items, and actually stressed myself out as I was typing them... nope. We'll leave it there. Bad enough to be greeted to this country by an endless line just to get through passport control, because. you know, why should our government provide services to anyone except billionaires?

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and don't feed the trolls (especially the orange clown).

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August 4, 2018, Happy birthday, Barack

Regular readers (thank you, whomever you are... Lord knows I don't post enough to warrant your continued interest, so thanks again! Although feel free to check out my "good friend" Donald J. Putin, who posts dozens of times a day) are aware that among my illustrious college classmates at Columbia University's final all-male class in 1983 were lawyer and failed judicial candidate Miguel Estrada, master of the universe Daniel Loeb, and an obscure fellow named Barack H. Obama, who went on to become the 44th President of the United States. Barack, like me, was a political science major concentrating in international politics, and who did not enter in the class of '83 (he transferred from Occidental College, I entered with the class of '84 and graduated in three years). You say tomato...

Today is Barack's 57th birthday (now a holiday in Illinois!). It's one of those things; since we have stumbled onto the "side B" or the forgotten time-line, it becomes hard to remember that Barack was still President maybe a little more than year and a half ago (eons in Trump time). It is hard not to come to the conclusion that the current President (may it not be too much longer, please God) can only be construed as Barack's legacy. He (Barack) could have arguably pointed to some serious accomplishments, such as being the first Black man to be elected President, or to the massive expansion of the stock prices of private health insurers, or saving the banking system at the expense of financial integrity or accountability of people who should be in jail and so forth (we won't even talk about the drones or the surveillance state or his inability even to close Guantanamo). And I'd rather not talk about the fact that had he not foolishly chosen Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State, she would almost certainly be the President of the United States right now, and "Obamacare" would not have effectively been gutted.

No, because I want to talk about the most obvious living legacy of Presidents: the lifetime judges that we are stuck with for years (and sadly these days, decades). I had suggested somewhat tongue in cheek (BUT ONLY PARTIALLY) that Barack could have chosen Maryanne Trump Barry, sister of the current President and herself a federal appeals judge, instead of Merrick Garland, and force the Republicans to block the sister of their own nominee (if they wanted to). Somewhere along the line, my friend Mr. Crabcakes suggested that a woman of color-- to add to the Sonia Sotomayor legacy-- was the way to go (I suggested, perhaps, a judge in New York named Laura Taylor Swain who would have been perfect in every conceivable way, plus I have appeared before Judge Swain and she is a good judge AND REALLY NICE.) So instead, Barack put up Merrick Garland, a 60-something White man, and Dick Turtle McConnell and Chuck Skeletor Grassley pushed him around, and yada yada yada, Jim Comey (YET ANOTHER OBAMA PERSONNEL MISTAKE) with Vladimir Putin's hacking assistance handed the election to Donald Trump, and yada yada yada, Neil Gorsuch (another proud mistake of my college) and quite possibly Brett Kavanaugh (a long story I could tell you some time) may be haunting us for decades.

At the end of the day, I understand "No Drama" Obama didn't want to push things too far, although "No Record" Obama would have been more accurate. Comparisons to the current criminal buffoon will obviously go favorably for Barack, who is neither a criminal nor a buffoon, but Bro, but for your awful personnel choices (and your decision to let your buddy Jon Corzine walk scot free from the clearest grand larceny in history), Hillary is the President and adding to your legacy, instead of, basically, your kind of not really having one (other than America's first White President coming on the heels of the first Black one).

I'm sure things are just fine for you and Michelle and Sasha and Malia (I certainly hope they are), so I'll just leave you to your birthday, Barack.

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