(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ (June 30, 1972), was originally found here).
Chilly-dark this Monday evening on California’s north coast, sunshine through-out the day, a little rain expected tomorrow, more sun Wednesday and Thursday.
So it goes…
Our current time frame is a period of out-of-the-ordinary, and whether political, environmental, or whatnot, the T-Rump carries the cycle of living right now. Tom Engelhardt at TomDispatch yesterday posted a good, comprehensive piece on the self-center glory-times of the T-Rump, and the ‘… all-Donald-all-the-time universe we live in,’ including the consequences. An informative, bewildering read.
One upshot of this T-Rump horror-phenomenon is the mass of American people getting involved in the political process. Reportedly, 118 million turned out to vote in last month’s midterms — biggest in a century. (CNN):
The turnout is even more amazing is when you expand out the timeframe.
The 50.1-percent turnout is higher than for any midterm in the last 100 years.
This despite the fact that many of those elections took place when those under 21 were not eligible to vote.
Remember, those younger than 21 are the least likely to vote, so you’d expect that the the turnout rate of eligible voters would have been higher before the youngest were eligible (in years such as 2018).
Indeed, the turnout in 2018 is actually more comparable to presidential elections than midterms.
The 50.1-percent turnout is closer to the average presidential turnout (56.5-percent) than midterm turnout (39.4-percent) since the 26th Amendment was enacted and it nearly exceeds the turnout in the 1988 election (52.8-percent) and 1996 election (51.7-percent.
The T-Rump is the center of attention — he, and he alone is way-most-likely the reason for the record turn-out for the mid-terms. Americans are getting sick of the son-of-a-bitch.
The entire storyboard would be hilarious if not for two items — one, the T-Rump has the nuclear codes, and the other is this:
Trump has promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord and has sought to expand production of coal, using that talking point to Republican voters.
Climate activists and policy experts say Americans have been trying to throw a wrench in the process here in Poland, which is meant to take the lofty goals of Paris and ensure that they actually become reality.
Whether that actually works? That remains to be seen.
The US promotion of fossil fuel interests makes COP24 feel more like a “trade show” than a climate negotiation, said Jesse Bragg, spokesman for the nonprofit group Corporate Accountability. “It feels like the US saying the rest of the world, ‘We’ve got coal and coal technology; come buy it from us,’ ” he said.
“They’re not here to negotiate a treaty. They’re here to sell fossil fuels.”
Climate change is short-long-term, and a nuclear rocket/bomb incident is short, short-term. Of course, there’s a humongous list of bad-shit directly/indirectly caused by the T-Rump, climate/nuclear maybe just the most frightening/bat-shit-crazy of them all.
Adding to the fuel is the drama-queen TV shit, but on a much-more dangerous level — another surreal ode from the Wall Street Journal this afternoon (Journal has a fire-wall, so a brief snip via Raw Story):
President Donald Trump is reportedly angry at his staffers for exhibiting low morale amid the search for a replacement for his outgoing chief of staff John Kelly.
White House sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal said the president has taken to complaining once again about his “disloyal” aides and the apparently poor morale in the West Wing.
The report noted that both Kelly and Reince Preibus, his predecessor as White House chief of staff, found Trump “difficult to manage” and lamented how hard it was to keep his administration on-message and disciplined in its pursuance of goals.
Priebus, the Journal noted, took to referring to himself as merely the “chief of stuff” in relation to the warring power factions within the Trump administration.
In the valley of the looking glasses, CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, also this afternoon, revealed a weird-ass, and nauseating sequence:
Update: He's now in the briefing room. I asked if he's going to take the open chief of staff job. He said his credentials are ready. pic.twitter.com/QviOhao4PN
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 10, 2018
Of course, one vital point must be kept in mind — everything/anybody is chaos to the T-Rump. The open chief of staff job is a cluster-fuck event. Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair this evening has some good sources inside the White House: Reportedly, the set-scenario of announcing John Kelley’s departure turned into a crazy-clown show:
“It got back to Trump that Kelly was bad-mouthing him and Trump had decided he’d had enough.
His attitude was, ‘fuck him,’” an attendee told me.
But Trump’s frustration with Kelly boiled over after Kelly pressed him to name his deputy Zachary Fuentes interim chief of staff.
“Trump didn’t like how Kelly was trying to dictate the terms of his departure,” a Republican briefed on the discussions told me.
Trump blew up the carefully orchestrated announcement and told reporters on Saturday as he walked to Marine One that Kelly would be leaving by the end of the year.
“John wanted to announce his own departure. This was a humiliation,” a former West Wing official said.
Trump’s impulsive announcement quickly became an even bigger problem when it turned out that Kelly’s replacement was not sewn up; Ayers surprised Trump later that day by insisting that he only wanted the job short term.
“Trump was pissed, he was caught off guard,” a former West Wing official briefed on the talks said.
Sources said Ayers, who has triplets, told Trump he wanted to return to Georgia with his wife in the spring and work on a super PAC supporting Trump’s 2020 re-election.
But a former White House official said Ayers wanted to avoid intense scrutiny on his financial dealings (last year, Ayers reported a net worth of $12.2 million to $54.8 million from his political-consulting ventures).
“He started getting calls from reporters with requests for information about how he made his money and he thought, ‘Do I really want to do this?’” said a source familiar with his thinking.
What a joint!
Casting director for the part of chief of staff might be the T-Rump’s Waterloo (we hope), and witness the impossible actual work required. (NPR):
“You have to wonder who would want to take this job,” said Chris Whipple, who chronicled the demands of the chief of staff position in his book The Gatekeepers.
Whipple noted that James Baker, who served as chief of staff to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, called it the worst job in government.
“That’s under the best of circumstances,” Whipple said.
“And these are not the best of times.”
“I think this is a watershed moment for the Trump presidency,” Whipple said.
“If he cannot get this job right and the right person in it, there’s going to be a world of hurt ahead.”
Trump chafed under Kelly’s effort to impose limits on him.
But Whipple argued that “letting Trump be Trump” is a recipe for failure.
And extra-curricular activity of consequence — from the UK’s Independent today:
Swathes of a 100-acre butterfly sanctuary along the Rio Grande in Texas are to be bulldozed to make way for Donald Trump’s US-Mexico border wall, putting endangered species at risk of extinction, experts have warned.
Marianna Wright, the sanctuary’s executive director, said 70 per cent of the land belonging to the centre will end up on the other side of the border wall.
The wall could be up to three-stories tall, with 18-foot steel beams rising from a concrete base. Construction through the refuge could start in February, according to the San-Antonio Express News.
Whatever the direction, or subject matter…