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

BREAKING! MUST CREDIT MLB AT BAT

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.

September 05, 2016

Props

Before he's too cold in the ground I just want to acknowledge in passing the similarities in the lives and contributions of the recently deceased Rudy Van Gelder and Wallace Stevens, two guys from New Jersey. Stevens was a medical doctor and Van Gelder an optometrist, though each will be remembered more for what they crafted in the hours outside of their ostensible professions, however capable they may have proved to be in carrying out their credentialed duties.

Van Gelder's recordings for Prestige and Blue Note and Savoy forever realized the epitome of sounds New York City's jazz musicians of the '50's and '60's would present to posterity.

September 04, 2016

Weather, That Is To Say, Climate.

Even during peak hurricane season, hurricanes that pass north of the Delmarva Peninsula [that odd huge sprawl of southtending land with Chesapeake Bay on one side and Delaware Bay and the ass end of New Jersey across the water on the other] typically weaken because of cooler ocean waters that limit the growth of central thunderstorms. But not Hermine. This sort of storm arguably wouldn’t be possible without the near-record high ocean temperatures currently offshore.

We Haven’t Seen Many Storms Like Hermine, Eric Holthaus, FiveThirtyEight.com Sept 3, 2016

But "near-record high ocean temperatures" are the ground floor of the new normal. If Hermine is the sort of storm sustained by the new normal, then she will have many sibs in coming years.

August 30, 2016

Operating The Grift To Make America Great Again

Trump nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign, according to a Huffington Post review of Federal Election Commission filings.

via

August 29, 2016

Constructed With Reference To The Buddha

Land Of Medicine Buddha Grounds, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009

August 21, 2016

That's A Whole Lot Of Arctic Hydrocarbon

At stake for ExxonMobil is a massive $500 billion deal with Rosneft, a state-owned Russian oil company, to drill for oil in the Russian Arctic.

—Buzzfeed News, Congress, Worried About Trump, Is Trying To Tie The Next President’s Hands On Russia

August 15, 2016

Opo Research

What will people who now support Trump say when they understand that his famous hair is actually the harvested pelt of this endangered species? Huh, Mr. Libertarian, huh?

The Tragically Attractive Tamarind, Seattle, 2008

Bucket of Flowers

Flowers, Disarranged, 2008

August 08, 2016

For When Being Enough Of A Republican Isn't Enough

There are those among Republicans who would counsel Trump to make no more of a fool of himself than he already has, but beyond sending a presidential candidate to his room they sense no sure way to ensure Trump's public probity. The Culpability Index is counting down the hours left for them to plausibly deny association with him.

August 04, 2016

Mot

I was opining, as I am wont to do at times, on the state of the current Presidential election campaign. There is no way the Republicans can lift Donald Trump back up, I averred. The party's only saving move now is a whole-hearted attack on Hillary Clinton, dragging her down farther than Tump has fallen by employing the harshest possible criticisms they can offer, however germaine, and soon.

"She slept with Bill Clinton!" said Jesse.

August 02, 2016

We Interrupt This Reported Trump Enormity #12 and 35

Scott Lemieux of the Lawyers, Guns & Money blog lists the 5 worst ruling of the Roberts Court. Citizens United doesn't make the cut. Canny look at the Court's inclinations under Roberts from a lawyer who's apparently been paying attention.

July 22, 2016

Some Bird

The hummingbird arrested but briefly on a twig.

July 14, 2016

The Break

Major League Baseball comes to rest around the All-Star Game, a four-day pause in the year's relatively incessant schedule of games, marking the ceremonial halfway point in the season, though strictly speaking the halfway mark is long past. The San Francisco Giants have played 90 games going into the break, nine more than half a season's worth.

No ballclub has had an easier schedule than the San Francisco Giants had during the first half of 2016.

That will change for the Giants eventually, as is mentioned elsewhere. But for now, the club continues to enjoy the salad days of its schedule, returning from the four-day All Star Break with the MLB's best record, 57-33 (having surpassed the Chicago Cubs in that regard after a couple of weeks of stumbling from the Chicagos to close out their first half), to face the more or less hapless San Diego Padres.

The Giants have yet to lose a game to the Padres this season. They are 9-0. Those nine wins explain a lot about the position of two clubs as the second half begins. Without them the Giants are less bafflingly successful, the Padres not so deflatingly bad.

Granted, good clubs are supposed to win most of the games they play against poor teams. But, winning 6 of 9 games against a poorer club is considered feasting on that team. Winning 9 games in a row against any club, no matter how poor, is way over on the far edge of the probability curve. Baseball doesn't normally operate that way.

Nevertheless, the Giants get to play the Padres 10 more times this year, starting tomorrow night.

Soon the DL will disgorge Matt Duffy, Joe Panik, Hunter Pence, and Matt Cain. Reliever Sergio Romo is already back. Other teams may hope to bolster their lineups by working some magic before the end-of-the-month trading deadline. The Giants look to become considerably stronger simply by welcoming back four of their own.

July 13, 2016

Questionable Times for the New PM

The British Prime Minister apparently has "You're It!" powers when it comes to naming the heads of the offices of government, who set and carry out the policies of the party in power using those offices under the Prime Minister's direction, including the newly created office of Secretary of State For Exiting The European Union (David Davis). No messy formal advise and consent, just, here, you're it.
It is a mark of the equivocal importance of the Foreign Office in what remains of Britain now that it has voted to go to its room, that the new Foreign Secretary will be Boris Johnson.

July 11, 2016

Lemmy And Jolie

Lemmy Caution and Jolie Blon got together and sang this song
And everybody else wants to sing along
Sing along to this real old song.

Lemmy Caution and Jolie Blon met up together and sang this song:
Everbody else wants to sing along
Sing along to this real old song.

Lemmy Caution and Jolie Blon get 'em together and we all sing along
Sing along to this real old song,
Real old song, we all sing along,
Sing along to this real old song.

July 06, 2016

Department of O.K. Fine If You Say So

Words that cannot be gainsaid, at least around here:

Indeed, it has been shown that the proposition that every vector space has a basis is equivalent to Zorn's Lemma (and hence also to the axiom of choice)

July 05, 2016

Annals of Privilege

The Obama administration has prosecuted more leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined, according to this Greenwald article at The Intercept.

…Comey also detailed that her key public statements defending her conduct – i.e., she never sent classified information over her personal email account and that she had turned over all “work-related” emails to the State Department – were utterly false; insisted “that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position . . . should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation”; and argued that she endangered national security because of the possibility “that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.” Comey also noted that others who have done what Clinton did “are often subject to security or administrative sanctions” – such as demotion, career harm, or loss of security clearance.

…Despite all of these highly incriminating findings, Comey explained, the FBI is recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be charged with any crime. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” he said, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” To justify this claim, Comey cited “the context of a person’s actions” and her “intent.” In other words, there is evidence that she did exactly what the criminal law prohibits, but it was more negligent and careless than malicious and deliberate.

…perhaps Democrats might start demanding the same reasonable leniency and prosecutorial restraint for everyone else who isn’t Hillary Clinton.

That last line pointedly about well-known miscreants Snowdon and Manning.