October 25, 2016

A Furlong or Two From the Post

"Unlike the period from June 1 to today, we have no organized calendar of events for the next 14 days," Eisenberg said. "Rather, when the opportunity presents itself, we will have ad hoc fundraisers."

It is the the very essence of the proper highwayman, e.g., to engage in ad hoc fundraising whenever the opportunity presents itself, and likewise the core chore of the chancers and grifters improvising their way out of town as the situation warrants.

October 23, 2016

The Odd Bit Of Politics

So often our opponents' policy proposals grow out of character flaws that lend themselves to succinct elucidation in public.

The Art Of The Email In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction

Julian Assange has taken the unusual step of intervening in the US presidential election by releasing through his organization, Wikileaks, a trove of mind-numbingly boring political emails from the hacked files of John Podesta, currently chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential election campaign. Taken as a whole the emails prove conclusively that John Podesta is engaged in POLITICS!!!!! ON Hillary Clinton's!!! BEHALF!!!! A wet punk for what was presumably meant to be bombshell.

[The Roman Catholic Church, which, as an aside, looks down its nose at all Protestants, let alone evangelicals, probably split into progressive and reactionary wings around the first Lateran Council, so the fact that Podesta, a known liberal Catholic, took some swipes at the reactionary wing of his own faith in emails sent to a fellow Catholic is thin soup for scandal. p.r.]

Donald Trump boiled the matter down to "Hillary hates Catholics" somehow, a rudeness that presumably passes for wit among his ilk, in remarks at the Al (pretty famously Catholic) Smith Dinner this past week.

October 19, 2016

Election Update

Donald Trump's refusal tonight to say he will accept the results of the election is an invitation to civil war. And he has white men with guns.

October 10, 2016

This Week In Philandering

The recently disseminated copies of recorded remarks made by Donald Trump to Billy Bush back in 2005 have proved some kind of tipping point in this year's presidential election.

It has escaped no one's notice that following the revelation that he uses Tic Tacs to mitigate the imposition of his kisses on unsuspecting women, Donald Trump describes in this conversation the latitude granted to a star's behavior toward women. "You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Given those ground rules, pussy grabbing by a star is just not sexual assault. It just isn't. Not for a star. It's not clear that Trump admitted to the act or merely gestured toward the latitude of what you can get away with when you're a star, while strongly hinting at being one himself.

Speaking to Bush, he, Donald Trump, recently married to a then-pregnant wife, did admit to embarking on a predatory sexual adventure involving a married woman of their mutual acquaintance, which regrettably came to nothing in his account.

October 08, 2016

Mysteries of the Electorate Exposed

Caught in passing:
Throughout the campaign, white evangelicals have overwhelmingly supported Trump—often with higher majorities than Romney got from them.
This would be the traditional, unapologetic not-a-Mormon bonus given by white evangelicals to any candidate who isn't. Say what you will about Trump, he is obviously not a Mormon.

October 05, 2016

Giants 3, Mets 0

Wild Card Week has ended with a Giants victory over the New York Mets in the Wild Card Playoff Game, giving them the opportunity to advance to this year's five-game National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. The winner of that series will meet the winner of the Washington/Los Angeles Division Series in the seven-game National League Championship Series later this month.

Madison Bumgarner excelled against the Mets, excellence being standard for him in post season play, and Conor Gillaspie undoubtedly experienced the peak moment of his baseball career, a guy-out-of-nowhere at-bat that resulted in an utterly crushing ninth inning three-run homer in a victory ensured by Bumgarner's complete game shutout.

The bullpen cheered from a safe distance.

October 03, 2016

Nine Hundred Million In Fact And Fiction

Trump would point to a bum begging for handouts and quip: “That bum isn’t worth a dime, but at least he’s at zero. That puts him $900 million ahead of me.”

Fortune Magazine, quoting itself from an article on Trump published back in 1996

I'm guessing his 1995 tax returns were prepared in 1996, leaving the $900 million he quips about fresh in his mind.

October 02, 2016

The Sum of An Irregular Season

2010 92-70
2011 86-76
2012 94-68
2013 76-86
2014 88-74
2015 84-78
2016 87-75

For the San Francisco Giants, this year's regular season record is better than three recent Giants seasons and bested by three others. Those three better years resulted in World Series Championships. For now it remains to be seen if a Championship can be achieved by a team with fewer than 88 regular season wins. What seems to have been established by this year's lads is that a team that wins six more than half its games might just make the playoffs, where, as has been seen in even-numbered years so far, anything might happen.

The Game, Afoot

Now if Donald really has all those tax losses... the debt must be parked somewhere. There is a vehicle out there... effectively controlled by Donald Trump which owns over $900 million in debt and is not bothering to collect it [or write it off]. I do not have the time or energy to find that vehicle. But it is there.... There is a Pulitzer prize for whoever finds it...

Bradford deLong

October 01, 2016

The Playoffs Begin

An anonymous source sent the New York Times documents showing that Donald Trump reported a nearly $1 billion loss on his 1995 tax returns -- which could have helped him avoid paying any federal income taxes for 18 years, the paper reported on Saturday.


OK now. 95 and 18 carry the thirteen is 2013*: the earliest year he'd need to pay any tax on his first $50 million each year. The tax code patting him on the head for being such a titanically poor businessman, saying, here, you've destroyed a billion dollars in wealth, the next billion's on us, and hey, let's go and give you back the last three years worth of taxes you might have paid to get you back on your feet.

*But no, the count begins three years before the loss was incurred and lasts for 15 years after [this rule makes no sense to me but is attested by reputable sources]. So 2010 would be the earliest possible end of the freeloading.

All the Political Acumen Of The Guy At The End Of The Bar

“Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly,” Trump responded. —Howard Stern Confirms Trump Said He Was For Iraq War In 2002

When Trump spoke those words, the hardline warhawk criticism of the first President Bush was, and had been for a decade, that he didn't "finish the job" in Iraq during Desert Storm. The warhawks went on about this endlessly. They've long comprised a considerable contingent of the two major American politicial parties, and make up a good portion of "independents" as well. They forever see a good excuse for war somewhere. Desert Storm, swift and decisive as it was, did not sate their wetted appetite for military conflict. They groused formally at the Project for a New American Century, where the blueprint for "finishing the job" was sketched out.

Trump's "I guess so," signals a wistful acquiescence to what, failing to be done before by the first Bush, must be corrected now by his son.

Ah, Sweet October

Saturday was Day 5 of NL Wild Card Week. The New York Mets won (87-74), securing home field in the win-or-go-home Wild Card playoff game scheduled for Wednesday. The St. Louis Cardinals (85-76) won as well, overcoming a three run deficit in the late innings. The San Francisco Giants (86-75) beat the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, behind rookie pitcher Ty Blach, who shut out Kershaw's Dodgers on three hits over eight innings. With one game left in the regular season, the Giants now have three shots at advancing to the Wild Card game: by winning tomorrow, by St. Louis losing tomorrow, or by beating St. Louis in a tie-breaker game on Monday.

September 30, 2016

Wild Card Week Wends Its Way To Its Scheduled End: Day 4

Friday was Day 4 of Wild Card Week. The Mets (86-74) and Cardinals (84-76) both won convincingly. The Giants (85-75) came from behind, contrary to their most recent practices, and drubbed the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 behind Madison Bumgarner, who won his 15th game of the season and 100th of his career. With two games left in Wild Card Week and the season, the Giants crucially continue to play no worse than the Cardinals.

September 29, 2016

Your Intermittently Posted Daily National League Wild Card Week In Review: Days 2 and 3

The Mets won again on Wednesday, Day 2 of National League Wild Card Week, and the Cardinals and the Giants both lost. The Mets thus gained the inside track for home field in the Wild Card game next Wednesday. The Giants are playing no worse than the Cardinals, which suits their needs.

Thursday was Day 3 of Wild Card Week. The Mets (85-74) had Thursday off, their final three games of the season beginning Friday against the Philadelphias. St. Louis (now 83-76) won its game against Cincinnati, though not without a measure of controversy over the final play of the game, and the Giants (84-75) greeted the return of Johnny Cueto from an injury by scoring multiple times in three separate innings, a rarity for the club which has been shut out nine times since the All Star Break. The Giants continue to play no worse than the Cardinals.

September 27, 2016

Wild Card Week. Day One

The Mets scored 12 runs in their win today, the Cardinals scored 12 runs in their win today, and the Giants scored 12 runs in their win today on this, the first day ofWild Card Week.

Annals of Rhetorical Arts

1. Pro Tip:

A "debate" is not a yelling, pal.

2. Two notable Tweets chirped by witnesses to last night's curious affair of the Donald who sniffed in the night:

a)DEBATE HOUR 2: THE SNIFFENING, said the one Tweet, and

b)Donald Trump's nose is running faster than the jobs leaving this country, said the other.

September 26, 2016

Three Stumble Toward The Line

All the San Francisco Giants need do is play as well as the St. Louis Cardinals for the final six games of the season and a playoff spot is assured. Whether they are up to the challenge is to be seen. Signs in the last couple of months have been less than encouraging, as the Giants piled up (used advisedly) a 25-41 record after reaching the All Star break with the best record in baseball. They fell from an eight game lead in their division to hanging-by-fingernails playoff contenders in a three-way jostle with the New York Mets and the St. Louis club for one of two post-season wild card playoff spots.

In 2014 the Giants advanced to and won the World Series from a wild-card playoff berth, so it can be done, and is, as always, a consummation dtbw.

On the one hand, it is an even-numbered year. On the other, 30 blown saves so far. THIRTY!!!!

September 24, 2016

The Bondi Boodle

Most news sources agree that Donald Trump was required to pay a fine of $2,500 and reimburse his foundation from his own personal funds for the $25,000 his foundation spent, illegally, in support of Pam Bondi's re-election campaign.

Does all this mean that Pam Bondi doesn't have to relinquish the money we know she's been given illegally by the Trump Foundation? She gets to keep all that? That seems like a doable deal for Trump, paying a 10% tax on a $25,000 investment in a pliable Bondi.

So that's what I wonder. Does Pam Bondi keep the cash?

September 23, 2016

Holding Our Nose, The Endorsement Goes To . . .

"…going two weeks without saying something misogynistic, racist or xenophobic is hardly a qualification for the most important job in the world."

Conservative Cincinnati Enquirer [failing to endorse a Republican for president for the first time in nearly 100 years] Endorses Dem: ‘It Has To Be' Clinton Talking Points Memo, September 23, 2016

Surely the Enquirer's standard would disqualify a wide swath of the demos, the people Trump speaks for, often explicitly, from ever succeeding to the presidency, and that's, you know, so elitist, and like, discrimination.

September 13, 2016

Inadvertent Geyser

Junction of Seventh Avenue and Soquel Avenue,  Santa Cruz, September 13, 2016

September 11, 2016

The Stretch Run

The last time the San Francisco Giants were set to begin a three-game series against the San Diego Padres was July 15, coming out of the All Star break. The Giants had the best record in baseball at the time, and had won their previous nine games against the Padres.

It seemed a certain measure of optimism was warranted.

Now, instead of optimism, a fan's residuum of hope remains, with three games now against an inferior team while the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers visit New York, where the recently resurgent Yankees are still within scuffling distance of a playoff spot.

The Giants at this juncture are three games behind the Dodgers, but still have six games head-to-head against them, with 20 games left on the regular schedule.

What seemed such a certainty scant months ago remains conceivable with best play.

September 10, 2016


Just now Larry King is doing play-by-play of the sixth inning of the Dodgers/Marlins game on radio station WINZ's Marlins broadcast, a guest spot, his presentation full of the utterly long-winded and heartily pronounced banalities that have always been the bedrock of his appeal, but fortunately enough for him, particularly for an avowed Dodger fan such as King, the inning breaks out for the Dodgers with back-to-back homers and they take a 4-0 lead, knocking the pitcher out of the game and giving his partner on the broadcast a chance during the change to draw him out on the looming retirement of Vin Scully, longtime Dodger announcer, for whom King delivers a eulogy-worthy off-the-cuff encomium.

His program on RT has drawn some attention for broadcasting an interview with Donald Trump.

The inning ends, he's gotta leave, plane to catch, big hearty Jimmy Durante fare-thee-well and he's gone.

Dodger pitcher Rich Hill is throwing a perfect game.

Foundation and Empire

In two cases, he has used money from his charity to buy himself a gift. In one of those cases — not previously reported — Trump spent $20,000 of money earmarked for charitable purposes to buy a six-foot-tall painting of himself.

— David Farenthold, washingtonpost.com

September 08, 2016

Trump On The Stump

During this morning's walk I wondered if my impression of Trump's performance at last night's event (my first extended direct exposure to his campaign style) — that he emitted a consistently rambling, at times incoherent stream of bluster throughout — was shared by an appreciable number of my fellow citizens. You never know about these things. Later in the day Obama, responding to a question about Trump, asked everyone to “just listen to what he says and follow up and ask questions about what appear to be either contradictory or uninformed or outright wacky ideas."

It's comforting that my impression wasn't completely off track: I'm willing to compromise on the President's diagnosis of "wacky," with "dangerously uninformed" as a friendly amendment to an otherwise unobjectionable formula.