Friday: Something Fascist This Way Comes

Good Day Sky Dancers!

It’s just so hard to start this morning because the headlines are particularly disturbing and not what one expects to see in what was once a fully mature democracy and a highly developed nation. The economic numbers are truly devastating. What makes it worse is that policy and lack of national health strategy is making us live through more than a shock to the economy and more than a national health crisis.

We’ve had a crisis in national health for years. Our broken system and the continuing focus of Republicans on hyping cultural wedge issues and voodoo economics while funneling taxpayer money to billionaires has just hit something that’s put the Republican agenda since Reagan on its destructive full display. It’s no longer slowly killing most of us. It’s actively killing most of us and the world is watching us like we’re living the real version of American Horror Story.

I’ve always enjoyed a good horror movie but sheesh, do we have to live in one? Sir John Cleese has started a zoom performances, speeches, thoughts, etc. He’s spot on here as quoted in the Daily Beast. He’s doing a series of live stream talks from an empty Cadogan Hall in London that is the very essence of the art of dark comedy.

“I don’t mean there’s no hope for us as individuals,” he clarifies when I ask him to elaborate on the ominous title. What he means is, “There is no hope for us that we could ever live in an intelligent, kind, well-run society. Mainly because most people have no idea what they’re talking about.”

Whenever he meets someone who is at the top of their respective field, Cleese asks them how many people in their profession “really know what they’re doing.” He says most people answer in the 10-15 percent range, which may say more about individual arrogance than widespread ineptitude, but he takes them at their word.

“So that means that six out of seven people really don’t know what they’re doing,” he says. “They can just follow routines. But if the routines don’t work, then they don’t understand it at that deeper level.” As is often the case with Cleese, the serious point is followed by a joke: “They’re like I am when my computer crashes.”

From there, Cleese says he moves on the question of why people seek power, which of course brings him to Donald Trump. The comedian has been prolifically anti-Trump on his Twitter account for the past several years and does not need much prompting to start ranting against the American president.

“If you look around at the moment, most of the people who seek great power are complete assholes, who are really only out for themselves,” he says. “Well, if someone’s out for themselves primarily, like our dear President Donald Trump, with no interest in other people at all, it’s not very likely that they’re going to be very good at building a society. And you see that the characteristics of people who are powerful is that they have a deep, deep fear of losing their power.”

“So with all these things going on there’s very little chance we will ever have a sensible society and this is a particularly bad moment,” Cleese adds.

Referring to the rise of strongman leaders around the world like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and others, Cleese says, “We have madness and power-seeking and complete unscrupulousness and pathological lying. And it’s very interesting why. Is it because people are very stupid? That’s a possible explanation.”

It’s really hard to watch and listen to the eulogies from three past presidents for such a towering human as John Lewis with normal behavior then return to the Daily Trumpist Reality Shit Show. It was on express view yesterday since former President Obama is an ongoing trigger for which ever personality disorder is front most at that particular point in time. However, President Obama did a job on him that should royally trigger him without even mentioning his name. This article is from Stephen Collinson at CNN: “Obama warns that Trump’s actions threaten US democracy.”

In one of the most jolting moments in modern political history, former President Barack Obama reclaimed his political pulpit with a stark warning that his successor is a grave and imminent threat to American democracy and racial justice.

Then, even more remarkably, President Donald Trump went on television and proved him right, putting a foreboding shadow over an election that he is already seeking to cast as illegitimate in the eyes of millions of Americans.

The campaign between Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has mostly chugged along out of sight, obscured by a pandemic that has killed more than 150,000 Americans.

But the extraordinary interventions Thursday of two presidents, whose legacies will be forever entwined, suddenly underscored how this election, in the words of the quadrennial cliché, will actually be the most important one of our lifetimes.

Thursday brought a tableau of one president, liberated now that he is out of office, at the funeral of Rep. John Lewis, weaving the life of a national hero into a parable of America’s long struggle to reach its promise. The current commander in chief, mired in crisis and desperate to cling to power, reached not for inspiration but for lies and disinformation to obscure the truth.

Yes. Trump held a press conference so he could do his magic hands routine to distract the press away from everything and anything. The shocking but not possible announcement of the day was his inkling of putting off the national election. The shock was undoubtedly the point. From archconservative and a co-founder of The Federalist Society Steven G Calabresi writing in a NY Times Op Ed today: “Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election. That’s Unconstitutional. He should be removed unless he relents.” Trump has been doing things since he came down that elevator shadowing the need to remove him and every time that happens Mitch McConnell calls a recess and leaves town.

But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.

Read the paragraph that precedes this one and realize that this man is really a major indicator of the problem. His late arrival to the party pearl clutching is really just typical of an oligarch realizing there’s a guillotine out there with his name on it. Trump is a champion mangler of the US Constitution. Where has he been?

The “rigged campaign” Trumpist Election Strategy is basically a strategy of projection. We’re supposed to look the other way while they rig the campaign and depress and fail to count votes. This is from Politico: ‘Rigged election’ goes from Trump complaint to campaign strategy. The notion that the president might not accept the election results has jumped from the partisan fever swamps to center stage in the campaign.” Translation of this is that if his rigging of the election doesn’t quite work he won’t leave but will try to tie things up endlessly in the courts.

Donald Trump’s suggestion that he might try to delay the election — or might not accept the result — is rapidly coming to the forefront of the presidential campaign, foreshadowing a final stretch roiled not only by the coronavirus and the economy, but by clashes over the nation’s most fundamental democratic norms.

Though Trump has no authority to move the election — an idea he floated Thursday — Democrats are already bracing for Republican challenges to absentee ballots and at vote counting on Election Day. They have good cause to be prepared: the president has repeatedly raised the prospect of a “rigged election” and recently declined to say if he’ll accept the results.

Trump’s rhetoric points increasingly to the possibility that he will dispute the outcome in a year marked by primary election administration meltdowns — a prospect that is heightened by his absolute control of state and national party machinery and an attorney general who has amplified Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about mail-in voting fraud.

“I don’t have any doubt that’s where he’s headed,” Pete Giangreco, a Democratic strategist who has worked on nine presidential campaigns, said of Trump’s effort to discredit the election. “He wants to delay the election because if they had the election today, he’d lose. The further out he gets from today, the better off he is … So, he wants more time to jerry-rig the system to somehow spit him out as the winner.”

So, here’s a horrifying report from WAPO on the DHS. And you thought they only sent secret police out to terrify those folks peacefully assembled while exercising the first amendment rights! “DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents.” Everybody gets to lose their first amendment rights but whacko white nationalist christianists.

The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors.

Over the past week, the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has disseminated three Open Source Intelligence Reports to federal law enforcement agencies and others, summarizing tweets written by two journalists — a reporter for the New York Times and the editor in chief of the blog Lawfare — and noting they had published leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland. The intelligence reports, obtained by The Washington Post, include written descriptions and images of the tweets and the number of times they had been liked or retweeted by others.

After The Post published a story online Thursday evening detailing the department’s practices, the acting homeland security secretary, Chad Wolf, ordered the intelligence office to stop collecting information on journalists and announced an investigation into the matter.

“Upon learning about the practice, Acting Secretary Wolf directed the DHS Intelligence & Analysis Directorate to immediately discontinue collecting information involving members of the press,” a department spokesman said in a statement. “In no way does the Acting Secretary condone this practice and he has immediately ordered an inquiry into the matter. The Acting Secretary is committed to ensuring that all DHS personnel uphold the principles of professionalism, impartiality and respect for civil rights and civil liberties, particularly as it relates to the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Some of the leaked DHS documents the journalists posted and wrote about revealed shortcomings in the department’s understanding of the nature of the protests in Portland, as well as techniques that intelligence analysts have used. A memo by the department’s top intelligence official, which was tweeted by the editor of Lawfare, says personnel relied on “FINTEL,” an acronym for financial intelligence, as well as finished intelligence “Baseball cards” of arrested protesters to try to understand their motivations and plans. Historically, military and intelligence officials have used such cards for biographical dossiers of suspected terrorists, including those targeted in lethal drone strikes.

Yeah. Isn’t that special!

And then there’s this from CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin ” Fearing Trump interference, FBI agents hid copies of Russia investigation docs”. It’s excerpted from his new book TRUE CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: The Investigation of Donald Trump,” by Jeffrey Toobin. Feeling better yet?

From Comey’s first meetings with Trump, shortly after he won the presidency, the FBI director developed misgivings about his new boss’ behavior — about Trump’s demands for “loyalty,” and even more unnerving, his request that the Bureau drop its investigation of Flynn. Comey’s conversations with Trump had been so distressing that the director started writing up contemporaneous summaries of their interactions and sharing them with a handful of top officials at the Bureau. Now, suddenly, Comey was out — and the question arose of what to do with his memos about his conversations with the President

Andrew McCabe, who was Comey’s deputy and now the acting director of the FBI. McCabe thought Trump’s behavior was sufficiently problematic to be investigated for possible obstruction of justice, and he told his team to open a criminal case.

Given the wild pace of events, McCabe couldn’t be sure how long he’d last as director, so he wanted to lock down as much evidence as possible. Most important, he told the investigating agents to place Comey’s memos in SENTINEL, the FBI’s case management software. McCabe knew that once documents were inside the system, they were virtually impossible to remove. With Comey’s memos in the system, the investigators were certain to have access to them — even if McCabe himself would eventually be gone.

Indeed, FBI officials even went a step farther. Once McCabe became director, Bureau employees grew so concerned that Trump would try to shut down the investigation that they secreted at least three copies of key documents, including Comey’s memos, in remote locations around the Bureau. This was to make sure that in the event Trump directed an end to these inquiries, the documents could always be preserved, located, and shared.

On May 17, eight days after Trump fired Comey, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, announced that he had appointed Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013, to serve as special counsel. Rosenstein gave Mueller a broad mandate — to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as any matters that arose from his investigation. Mueller’s team ultimately took possession of Comey’s memos, and they proved to be important evidence in the report Mueller filed two years later. As Mueller later learned, and included in his report, Trump seriously contemplated firing the special counsel on several occasions — so the initial suspicions at the FBI, about the President’s real intentions, were well-grounded.

And, I haven’t even gotten to the economy yet. Dan Rather puts it rather succinctly.

Yes. There’s that. We’re officially in a recession and this is the worst Quarter’s GDP ever.

The US economy contracted at a 32.9% annual rate from April through June, its worst drop on record, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.

Business ground to a halt during the pandemic lockdown in the spring of this year, and America plunged into its first recession in 11 years, putting an end to the longest economic expansion in US history and wiping out five years of economic gains in just a few months.

A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy. Between January and March, GDP declined by an annualized rate of 5%.

Okay, we’ll let’s listen to something a little more uplifting.

Please be safe! Be gentle with yourself and others! Give yourself space to heal and relax! Check in with us! We love and value your thoughts!!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today!


Finally Friday Reads: Be More Like Baseball!

Baseball in the 1800s

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Let’s start with a little in your face Trumperz from the Yankees and the Nationals!  Not only did Dr. Fauci–with a wild pitch–get the honor of throwing out the first pitch of the shortened MLB season,  we also got this! All the players took the knee during the National Anthem.  Now, let’s just continue with giving him a good old fashioned Bronx Cheer.

Black Lives Matter is a part of the culture now even if the Hair Furor’s white nationalist christianist racists want it all to go away.  Every day more people turn on the Trumpist Regime but every day he responds with something crazier and crazier. This is from baseball stats and numbers wonk Nate Cohn writing at the NYT.

Recent national polls show that Joe Biden’s commanding lead has eroded longstanding demographic divisions that have favored Republicans, endangering their hold on a tier of states where the Democratic Party usually has little chance to prevail in federal elections, even Republican strongholds like Kansas or Alaska.

President Trump still has plenty of time to close the gap with Mr. Biden. But with Mr. Biden’s lead enduring well into a second month amid a worsening coronavirus pandemic, it’s worth considering the potential consequences of a decisive Biden victory.

Remarkably, Mr. Trump’s lead among white voters has all but vanished. On average, he holds just a three-point lead among them, 48 percent to 45 percent, across an average of high-quality telephone surveys since June 1. His lead among white voters has steadily diminished since April.

Let’s hope the country can outlast him.  I’m not a ‘surburban housewife’ but I feel less safe with under the Trumpist Regime than I did as a kid ducking and covering under my desk from the nukes in Cuba.  I just want us all to be safe at home.

Jackie Robinson American Baseball Player

So, the Dark Side is coming to Seattle and Dr. Daughter’s neighborhood as of yesterday. Why is he going to places with either women mayors or governors? Trying to work out mommy issues now?  Also from the NYT: “Feds Sending Tactical Team to Seattle, Expanding Presence Beyond Portland. After outrage over the presence of federal agents in Portland, Ore., the Trump administration is sending a team to Seattle. Officials say they will be on standby.”

The deployment to Seattle came on the same day that the inspector general of the Justice Department announced an investigation into tactics used by the federal agents in Portland and in front of Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., in early June.

The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph V. Cuffari, is also conducting an inquiry into the tactics of the agents in Portland. Mr. Cuffari said in a letter to Democrats that he expected to examine the authority used to deploy agents to the city after President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to increase security at monuments, statues and federal property.

The order prompted the Homeland Security Department to form teams that were briefly deployed to multiple cities to guard federal property, including Seattle, for the July 4 weekend. The tactical teams in Portland have remained at a federal courthouse as tension with protesters there has heightened.

Dorothy Kamenshek American baseball player

A Federal Judge in Oregon has restricted the actions of Federal Troops terrorizing Portland Protestors. This is from OPB: “Judge restricts force federal officers can use in Portland”.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon has temporarily curbed the use of force by federal officers deployed to Portland, restricting their interactions with legal observers and journalists observing nightly protests against police violence.

On Thursday afternoon, Simon issued a temporary restraining order on officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service sent to Portland to guard federal buildings. The restrictions will last for two weeks. The judge is still considering a longer-lasting injunction against federal law enforcement.

The order comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon, alleging law enforcement has been targeting and attacking journalists at the protests.

The city of Portland was originally the main defendant in the suit. In early July, Simon issued a temporary restraining order against the city, placing new restrictions on how local police can interact with observers. Last week, the Oregon chapter of the ACLU successfully added the federal government to its lawsuit and immediately began pushing for similar restraints.

The new restrictions for federal officers are nearly identical to the limits already placed on Portland police. Federal officers are barred from arresting, threatening to arrest or using physical force against someone who they should “reasonably know” is a journalist or a legal observer unless they have probable cause to believe that person has committed a crime. Journalists and observers are also not required to follow orders to disperse nor can a federal officer tell them to stop documenting the protest.

One difference between the two orders: If a federal officer intentionally violates the order, it states they would not be protected under the doctrine of qualified immunity, a legal principle that often protects officers in police brutality lawsuits.

Like the last order, the judge said federal officers should identify legal observers by the green hats, worn by observers from the National Lawyers Guild or blue vests, worn by observers from the ACLU. Journalists should be identified by either a press pass or clothing that identifies them as press.

More on this from the ACLU: “FEDERAL COURT ISSUES RESTRAINING ORDER ON FEDERAL AGENTS IN PORTLAND”. 

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon today blocked federal agents in Portland from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or targeting force against journalists or legal observers at protests. The court’s order, which comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, adds the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Marshals Service to an existing injunction barring Portland police from arresting or attacking journalists and legal observers at Portland protests.

Under the court order, federal agents also cannot unlawfully seize any photographic equipment, audio- or video-recording equipment, or press passes from journalists and legal observers, or order journalists or legal observers to stop photographing, recording, or observing a protest.

“This order is a victory for the rule of law,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. “Federal agents from Trump’s Departments of Homeland Security and Justice are terrorizing the community, threatening lives, and relentlessly attacking journalists and legal observers documenting protests. These are the actions of a tyrant, and they have no place anywhere in America.”

Satchell Paige American Baseball player

From John Feffer at Foreign Policy in Focus: “Feds Attack! Trump’s use of federal paramilitaries is a classic tactic of autocrats to test how far they can push their authority in opposition-controlled regions.”

President Trump is doubling down, not backing down. He says that the paramilitaries are there to restore order. The Feds are preparing to descend on Chicago, and Trump is also warning Philadelphia and New York that they’re next. “Look at what’s going on — all run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by [the] radical left,” Trump said. “If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell. And we’re not going to let it go to hell.”

Halfway around the world, meanwhile, the Russian authorities arrested Sergei Furgal, the governor of the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, on charges that he orchestrated the murder of two men 15 years ago. Over the last week, tens of thousands of people have demonstrated on the streets of Khabarovsk demanding the release of this leader of the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Furgal and his supporters argue that the arrest is politically motivated.

In Hong Kong, authorities are using a new national security law criminalizing many forms of protest to arrest several pro-democracy advocates, including the politician Tam Tak-chi, who was expected to run for the legislature in the September election. The action put an immediate damper on opposition efforts to select candidates for the vote. From Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party is cracking down on any challenges to its authority from the periphery, whether in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, or Tibet.

Analysts of the new authoritarian wave that has swept across the world in the last few years have largely focused on power grabs in capitals. Leaders like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping have attempted to reduce the influence of legislative and judicial bodies in favor of their own executive power. They have targeted civil society and media. They have used the coronavirus crisis to consolidate their control.

An equally important feature of this new authoritarianism is its intolerance for regional or local power bases that lie beyond executive reach. For countries that have federal structures, this means a conscious effort to strengthen the federal center at the expense of the regions. It’s part of the remaking of the nation-state in the 21st century, a reversal of the two-edged trend to devolve power to local authorities and delegate authority to international institutions.

These nationalists don’t just hate globalists. They hate anybody who stands in their way, including just about any potential counterforce taking shape on the periphery.

Ty Cobb 1928 American Baseball Player

Feffer suggests Trump has started a “new civil war”.

Now Trump is claiming that areas of the country under Democratic Party control are in fact swamps of anti-Americanism. He is deploying the classic vocabulary associated with dehumanizing America’s putative enemies prior to attack. This is no longer a conflict between red and blue. Trump is transforming America’s political divide into an existential battle between grey and blue, where the Feds are supporting a Confederate-friendly president and the rebellious states long for the return of a more perfect Union.

Trump’s use of federal paramilitaries is a classic tactic of autocrats to test how far they can push their authority and what forces they can count on in an emergency. The Black Lives Matter protests inadvertently provided Trump with that opportunity. Come election time, he’ll know which guns are on his side if he chooses to question the election results and stay in office.

There are two more stories today that show that getting more than just white men in office = change for the better.

Women used to play in this?

From the Chicago Trib: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot has Christopher Columbus statues removed from Chicago parks overnight”  And look who complained:

It was not immediately clear where the statues were taken. Reports from television stations showed the statue in Arrigo Park, 801 S. Loomis St., in Chicago’s historic Little Italy neighborhood, was removed a few hours after the downtown statue.

The Grant Park removal capped off an at-times surreal evening. Late Thursday, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara made his way to the downtown statue wearing an “Italia” T-shirt. He lounged around, talking with cops, criticizing Lightfoot, and promising there would be a pro-police protest there on Saturday even if the statue stayed in place..

He also got into debates with anti-Columbus protesters, some of which grew heated.

Boston 1909

Good bye Columbus!  Good Bye all you pantheons to White Male Colonizers!  And a big fuck off to jerks like Representative YoYo.  From The New Yorker and David Remnick: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivers a Lesson in Decency on the House Floor”.

The video of Ocasio-Cortez’s speech is available online, of course; it should be studied for its measured cadence, its artful construction, and its refusal of ugliness.

She began with narrative, setting the scene: “I was minding my own business, walking up the steps, and Representative Yoho put his finger in my face. He called me ‘disgusting.’ He called me ‘crazy.’ He called me ‘out of my mind.’ And he called me ‘dangerous.’ ” Then she broadened her scope: “This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting violence and violent language against women and an entire structure of power that supports that.” Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that she was not going to fall down and faint. She had heard it all before, on the subway and as a bartender. But she wasn’t going to let this pass, not from a fellow-member of Congress: “I could not allow my nieces, I could not allow the little girls that I go home to, I could not allow victims of verbal abuse, and worse, to see that. To see that excuse, and see our Congress accept it as legitimate and accept it as an apology and to accept silence as a form of acceptance. I could not allow that to stand.” What’s more, she was not going to allow Yoho, in his clumsy way, to use his family as a “shield” for his barrage.

“Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize,” she said. “I am someone’s daughter, too.”

The politics of our moment are dominated by a bully of miserable character, a President who has failed to contain a pandemic through sheer indifference, who has fabricated a reëlection campaign based on bigotry and the deliberate inflammation of division. His language is abusive, his attitude toward women disdainful. Trump is all about himself: his needs, his ego, his self-preservation. Along the way he has created a Republican Party in his own image. Imitators like Ted Yoho slavishly follow his lead. On the House floor Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exemplified a different sort of character. She defended not only herself; she defended principle and countless women. And all in just a few short minutes on the floor of the House of Representatives.

So, there are some things uniquely American that change and adapt while still remaining uniquely American in a very good way.  Baseball is used as a metaphor for many things. I’ll just go with that. It used to be all white male.  Then it was not.  It used to have no women players.  Then it did not.  It missed the usual season opening stuff in 2020 but reinvented itself to play in an atmosphere compatible with the Covid-19 Pandemic and Dr. Fauci–not the Orange Snot Blob–threw out the first pitch.  The MLB is fully on board with the social justice goals of Black Lives Matter.

America!  Be more like Baseball!

What’s on your blogging and reading list today?


Wednesday Reads: Nature Made

Neowise photo by Ian Lopez

Good afternoon, I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to start this post. From last night to this morning, I would get myself in full search mode, looking for links…or in this case, searching for beautiful pictures of flowers, comets, mineral formations basically anything of natural cosmic or earthly creation. (That being created by God, as she has truly placed so many beauties in our world.) My intention being a post of lovely “things” to disappear into…as the news is horrors.

So it started off well:

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A three-mile wide comet named "NEOWISE" has been lighting up skies across the country, including over National Heritage Areas (NHAs) like the Northern Plains National Heritage Area in central North Dakota. Heritage areas (@nationalheritageareas_nps) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape. Through their resources NHAs tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation's diverse heritage.⁣ ⁣ Image: Comet Neowise and a CCC/WPA Prairie Rustic shelter at Double Ditch State Historic Site (North Dakota), one of the many key resources of the Northern Plains National Heritage Area along the Missouri River. Photograph from July 12, 2020, taken in the very early morning hours by Jonathan Campbell.⁣ ⁣ #nightskies #comet #neowise #northdakota #nationalheritage ⁣@nasa

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Dear Pluto, ⁣ ⁣ We love you. 💙 Happy 5 year anniversary since our New Horizons spacecraft revealed your complex and beautiful world. To celebrate, we’re showing off one of our favorite pictures from our time together. You are literally GLOWING. Don’t stop that shine! Keep being perfect. ⁣ ⁣ Distance has nothing on this relationship,⁣ NASA⁣ ⁣ Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute⁣ ⁣ #HappyAnniversary #Pluto #LongDistanceRelationship #Horizons #NASA

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A summer favorite, tiger lilies make for a striking addition to any garden. This flowering perennial is popular for its adaptability and low maintenance once established. ⠀ ⠀ Pictured: Lilium lancifolium (tiger lily) in the Herb Garden. Photo: Rebecca Bullene. #BrooklynBotanicGarden

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Our Sprout had quite a night! Sprout reached peak stink during the wee hours and the fabulous fumes are still lingering in the Tropical Terrace. Sprout’s velvety maroon spathe is absolutely stunning today. We are sold out for today! But we do expect the bloom to last for about another 24 hours, so get your tickets and reservations for tomorrow, 7/15. We don’t know if its spadix will deflate between now and then, but we do know Sprout will still be an amazing sight to behold! . We’d love to see your Sprout smelfies, stories, haiku, and stinky reflections. Tag us with #SproutStinks. . #LongwoodGardens #OurGardensYourHome #TitanArum #amorphophallus #CorpsePlant #CorpseFlower #BungaBangkai #AmorphophallusTitanum #aroids . Photos by Hank Davis.

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Operation “Pollinate Sprout” was a success. Once Sprout reached peak stink during the wee hours of the morning, Senior Horticulturist Joyce Rondinella cut a small window in Sprout’s spathe to access the flowers at its base. She brushed them with pollen collected from two titan arum friends Spike and Velvet Queen from @ChicagoBotanic. If all goes well, Sprout will sprout bright orange berries in about nine months! Sound familiar? Fingers crossed. . #LogwoodGardens #OurGardensYourHome #TitanArum #amorphophallus #CorpsePlant #CorpseFlower #BungaBangkai #AmorphophallusTitanum #aroids #FeedMeSeymour . Photos by Becca Mathias. . Photo 1: Sprout’s maroon spathe is meant to imitate the smell and color of rotting meat to attract pollinators. Photo 2: Sprout in its full blooming glory after a very funky night. Photo 3: A small window was cut in Sprout’s spathe to access the flowers for pollination. Photo 4: The female flowers are the darker spots below the male flowers that appear as white dots above.

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Photo by @garethtate – More than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths bloom each spring in what’s considered the world’s largest flower garden—Keukenhof Gardens, southwest of Amsterdam. #onassignment #natgeostaff

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Please welcome the newest addition to our orchid collection addition! Aganisia cyanea is a species native to Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. This species is known for its blue hues and stunning shape. What do you think of this new addition? 📷: Justin Kondrat, Horticulturist #SmithsonianGardens #OurGardensYourHome #Orchid

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Finding peace in Georgia nature this weekend. . . . Thanks to @blake_guffin for the tag! . . . #GAphotographer #Georgiaphotographer #GAphotography #Georgiaphotography #Ilovegeorgia #exploregeorgia #visitgeorgia #onlyingeorgia #georgiatravel #travelgeorgia #discovergeorgia #whyIloveGA #GA #georgialife #gapride #Georgiapride #iloveatlanta #atl#whyiloveatl #scenic #landscape #city #Beautiful #sunrise #views #ınstagood

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Purple Gladiolus. #flower #flowerphotography #macrophotography #kings_flora #flowerstalking #flowerslovers #blooms #flowersofinstgram #flowerporn #petal_perfection #flower_special_ #fineartphotography #flowersoftheday #flowerstagram #flowerpower #flowergram #macro #flower_shotz #flower_super_pics #great_captures_flowers #captures_flowers #ok_myflowers #tv_flowers #9vaga_3flowers9 #flowersinframe_ #ip_for_blossoms #favv_flowers #rainbow_petals #myheartinshots #pittsburghflowers

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This post is for everyone who is moving on from their canceled plans, altered vacations, missed trips, and unfulfilled visits. 👏 Seriously, give yourself a hand for carrying on everyday, showing up for your family and friends emotionally (even at a distance for some), and not giving up hope for the future. I commend you. °∆° This amazing Kunzite is one of the absolute most fabulous pieces I saw in @the_munich_show and God willing I will return this year! °∆° #kunzite #hiddenite #gems #gemcutter #munichshow #crystals #mineralogy #cutgems #naturewitch #greenwitch #wicca #quartzcrystal #pinkcrystal #spiritualbadass #spiritualaf #witchesofig

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Anemone. #flower #flowerphotography #macrophotography #kings_flora #flowerstalking #flowerslovers #blooms #flowersofinstgram #flowerporn #petal_perfection #flower_special_ #fineartphotography #flowersoftheday #flowerstagram #flowerpower #flowergram #macro #flower_shotz #flower_super_pics #great_captures_flowers #captures_flowers #ok_myflowers #tv_flowers #9vaga_3flowers9 #flowersinframe_ #ip_for_blossoms #favv_flowers #rainbow_petals #myheartinshots #pittsburghflowers

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Photo by @renan_ozturk | Not every day in isolation turns into rainbows and unicorns. Honestly yesterday was a hard one for me: feeling locked into an overwhelming cycle of video calls and digital mayhem, doing my best to be productive, until a full mid-afternoon meltdown. Anxiety took over, and I had to bail from a podcast in which I was supposed to give perfect kernels of wisdom to the adventure photography audience. I just didn’t have it in me. Ended up going for a walk in a storm, and was gifted this bit of light at end of a dark day. See @renan_ozturk for more from isolation in the Rocky Mountains. #exploreresponsibly #recreateresponsibly

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Only to be blocked by a recurrence of an orange turd-faced asshole.

I apologize for the remaining post, but some things must be pointed out.

Meanwhile…

Read the thread above, some infuriating comments there. Outrageous…that judge needs to go. Everyone involved in the situation should be fired.

Just a few more:

This is an open thread.


Sunday Reads: No Books

When I saw that tweet above, it made such a statement on the tRump nation.

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Whilst practicing solar distancing, Parker Solar Probe caught this rare glimpse of the twin tails on comet NEOWISE.☄ The twin tails are seen more clearly in this WISPR instrument processed image, which increased contrast and removed excess brightness from scattered sunlight, revealing more de-"tails". C/2020 F3 NEOWISE was discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), on March 27. Since it's discovery the comet has been spotted by several NASA spacecraft, including Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA #Neowise #ParkerSolarProbe #Heliophysics #SolarProbe

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That’s why we’re so perfect Twitter @heartlessgayyy . . . #gay #gays #gayboy #gayboys #gaymen #gayman #gayguys #gayguy #gaymemes #instagay #babyyoda #yoda #instagays #gaylife #tgif #friday #weekend #weekendvibes #meme #memesdaily #memes #dailymemes #funny #funnymemes #summervibes #summertime #summer #sorrynotsorry #gayboyproblems #disney

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And btw:

This is an open thread.


Oops it’s Wednesday Reads

Good afternoon….

Didn’t realize today was Wednesday.

Here is a few updates to get despondent about:

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Scientists have warned that doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered by coronavirus, as they emerge in mildly affected or recovering patients. Neurologists have published details of more than 40 UK Covid-19 patients whose complications ranged from brain inflammation and delirium to nerve damage and stroke. The cases add to concerns over the long-term health effects of Covid-19, which have left some patients breathless and fatigued long after they have cleared the virus, and others with numbness, weakness and memory problems. Follow the link in bio to find out more about the brain disorders that are emerging in some patients.

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Nice to know employers now have a say in their employees’ birth control because of Bronze Age bedtime stories. Thanks SCOTUS and @gop ✌️#thedailydon

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#SayTheirNames #BlackTransLivesMatter From our friends @CHNGE 🖤

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Scientists in Italy are investigating the mysterious appearance of pink glacial ice in the Alps. The effect is caused by algae and is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the spring and summer periods. Normally, ice reflects more than 80% of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere, but as algae appear, they darken the ice so that it absorbs the heat and melts more quickly. More algae appear as the ice melts more rapidly, giving them vital water and air and adding red hues to the white ice. The algae, known as Ancylonema nordenskioeldii, has also been seen in Greenland, where the ice is also melting.

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BREAKING: The Supreme Court decided against reproductive freedom today in 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘱 𝘷. 𝘗𝘦𝘯𝘯𝘴𝘺𝘭𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢. They ruled that virtually any employer can deny their employees health insurance coverage of birth control just because they have personal objections. The Supreme Court just gave the Trump administration the green light to attack our birth control coverage. 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 body should have access to birth control—no matter where you work or go to school. The personal beliefs of your boss or school should NEVER get in the way of your reproductive freedom. Today’s decision is an attack on that very freedom.

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A cartoon by Tom Cheney. #NewYorkerCartoons

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