Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Some People Never Learn

Despite having more than 200 lawsuits under his belt, or these days under the belly that falls over the belt, Trump is still insisting that he isn't getting due process, his 6th amendment guarantees, or protections from his legal team in the newly opened impeachment hearings. Simply another example of Trump's ignorance regarding the law and/or the Constitution. The 6th amendment applies to criminal proceedings. If Trump had shot someone on 5th Avenue, the 6th amendment would apply, but an impeachment proceeding is not a criminal investigation so all of those due process or confront your accuser ideas aren't relevant in this case.

I think it would be great if Trump would come and testify because that would be the spectacle of all spectacles but that would be the only way he could expect any sort of due process--in that he would have to adhere to the same process as all other witnesses. But since the White House has barred a dozen people from testifying and blocked access to many dozens of pages of information, it is unlikely that Trump will provide any personal insight into the facts of the investigation.

Do I want Trump to be impeached? I would much rather he were voted out of office by a thinking majority of American voters. Since these days that seems questionable, I choose impeachment.

And, what the hell is Hillary Clinton doing saying she still wants to be elected? I certainly won't say that I would vote for Trump over Hillary but they are both barf bags as far as I am concerned.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Chutzpah

The old definition of chutzpah was the guy who killed his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan. Under Trump, chutzpah emerges in multiple guises. There is Trump insisting that the transcript of his phone call was perfect and complete even though the transcript released specifies that it is not complete. There is Eric Trump who said that neither he nor any of his siblings would dare to do what Hunter Biden did--I mean trade on his father's fame and position? There is Don Jr. not only speaking out incoherently but getting an incoherent book published about the unfair treatment and bad behavior his family has endured while at the same time repeating the unfair behavior and bad treatment that they do on a daily basis to others. There is the entire draft dodging military service shirking crew calling a decorated veteran, a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, names that offend the senses let alone offend the truth and calling another decorated officer, first in his class at West Point, a traitor. So chutzpah, meet Trumps.

Please understand the facts. There was a quid pro quo but there does not need to have been for what Trump did to instigate investigation and impeachment inquiries. The WH lawyers and the defenders of Trump on the Republican side of the aisle are entirely wrong in their understanding of what the Constitution describes and in what they demand. The Republicans are hoist on their own petard over the closed door testimony as they wrote those specific rules when they controlled business. There is no honor within that group whatsoever. Let's face it: anyone who depends on Gaetz to be the face of their resistance has a very thin bench.

As it stands right now, there is a reasonable chance that Mike Pence will be impeached as well. His sycophantic brown nosing of Trump led him to engage in the whole nonsense involving Ukraine. So if what Trump did was an offense, Pence is also guilty 


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

At Least Some Things Are Looking Up

Our remodel is still moving along steadily and ahead of schedule. This week and next week are major working days for plumbers, electricians, painters, and finish carpentry. Yesterday and today the tile guy was working in the kitchen. As I have written before, one side of the kitchen is the true cooking area. When complete it will have three full ovens, two gas and one electric; a microwave oven; a refrigerator; large sink with accessories, the sink comes with a cutting board, a sieve basket, a container, and a rack and all of those accoutrements sit on the inside of the sink as needed. That's the side of the kitchen that is getting the tile backsplash with the quilting motifs.


 The diamond in a square tile is centered over where the 48 inch Wolf range will stand. The four square blocks go around the room although the colors are hard to discern in the corner photo. The other side of the room has the blue cabinets so the blue mimics that and Wolf ranges come with red handles on the front so the wine color tiles sort of mimic that although they are darker red. Our small eating area will have a square top pedestal table in worn wood finish with four leather chairs around it, two blue and two the same green as the field tiles. One wall has the blue cabinets and the opposite wall where there is no window will have an enormous English fiddle front dresser in worn wood and worn black paint.

My husband and I won't be tripping over each other here and in addition to all of these cabinets, there is a full walk in pantry that's about 10 by 10 with shelves on three of the four walls so lots of space for canned goods, dry goods, potatoes and onions, etc. I have not decided yet if we will have a wine chiller in there since I don't drink a great deal of wine but there is a plug outlet so I can set up some of my electronic kitchen devices in there if I need to.   

Thursday, October 17, 2019

When Truth Falls

Today Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and currently the White House chief of staff threw down a gauntlet to all Americans, not just the journalists to whom he addressed his words. He flat out stated that Trump had stopped congressionally approved aid to Ukraine because Trump wanted investigations into not only the Bidens but the totally spurious and nonsensical conspiracy theory that some DNC computer server that, according to the theory, is in Ukraine(https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/10/crowdstrike-ukraine-investigation-trump). Trump apparently believes every single conspiracy theory that flows down the sewage pipes of online and electronic data and he also apparently believes that this "server" will prove that Obama, the Fed, the FBI, the CIA, and others conspired to prevent him from winning the election. This despite the fact that he did win the election through the archaic Electoral College. When is enough not enough?

What makes Mulavaney's statements more appalling is that in essence he said, "So what?" So Trump stopped congressionally approved funds for Ukraine? The founders made ours a tripartite government because of their fear of investing power in only one branch. When any one branch exceeds what we ordinarily assume to be the boundaries we begin to mistrust our institutions. Trump is counting on this because his "So what?" is a direct slap in the face of the intelligence community (FBI and CIA), a direct slap in the face of the dedicated public servants in the Foreign Service, and even a direct slap in the face of the US armed services who are sworn to uphold and protect.

If there isn't trust in the institutions what is left to uphold and protect? Congress is equal to the White House by the Constitution. Trump says, no, I am the giver of all good things and I am great and powerful. Please notice that I did not put that in quotes although it mimics Trump's speech.

In the meantime, Trump is proclaiming that his actions in Syria have led to a tremendous breakthrough in a dramatic ceasefire by the Turkish mob. But Erdogan, who lost the confidence of his own people to the point that even after two votes in his home province around Istanbul where he served as mayor years ago, he still lost political control, flatly stated that it wasn't a ceasefire. He said that anyone who wanted to live had 120 hours to get out of his way and after that there would be no survivors. Our own senate has been dithering over language to condemn Turkey's actions while Erdogan shells everything in sight and we destroy our own arms depot to prevent the weaponry from entering the Turkish government's onslaught.

Go on, you Trumpettes, tell me that all this is good or rational or in anyway praiseworthy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Subpoena

I have been subpoenaed once in my life. There was a man who was suing a landlord in Salt Lake City for unlawful discrimination. The building in question was an old Victorian house on my street that had been converted to apartments. Since we were close to both the university and downtown there were many people who wanted to live in the neighborhood and the man who was suing the landlord wanted to move himself, his wife, and his little girl into the apartment. The landlord wouldn't rent to him because he had a little girl. She even had a sign in the yard outlining that policy but it was entirely illegal since it wasn't a seniors only apartment.

My involvement came about because an attorney for the client knocked on my door and asked if I remembered seeing that sign. I used to walk down the street daily so I definitely remembered the sign and said so. I also told the attorney that I would be happy to testify when and if it went to trial. I didn't need to worry about bad blood in the neighborhood because I had never met the landlord who didn't live on the premises anyway. Despite making my promise, the attorney had a process server come to my house and hand me a subpoena because subpoenas have the force of law behind them (the word means "under penalty")--so at least theoretically they have the force of law behind them. Now my lawyer friends always tell me that in theory everything is legal until it is tested in a court of law. So like the landlord who engaged in illegal discrimination based on age until she was challenged, all the sychophants who agreed to jobs with Trump are defying the law and refusing to appear before the congressional committees. This behavior is supposed to be punished with fines and jail. If nothing else, this process will set some boundaries for behavior that until now was assumed to be illegal but had not been challenged at the high federal level where it now sits. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Quick Fix

Yesterday my husband and I went up to the new/old house to get some work done. I couldn't do what I originally intended to do because I found some spots in the plaster that needed fixing before they could be washed or painted but I did wash the walls that were clear of defects. One benefit of doing my own painting is becoming more intimately familiar with my new house. Most people wouldn't think of that as a good thing but when you buy old houses (and compared to my current space this house is just a teenager--1677 vs 1901), you learn that all knowledge is good even if the news is bad.

Anyway, we had left our three cats and one dog at home alone as we are wont to do. They all get along well and as anyone who has pets knows, sleep is the primary function of a cat or a dog. But when we got back to the house I found that some pet (certainly a cat but with three it's hard to say which) had knocked over a large vase of dahlias on our dining room table spilling water over one side of the table. I have no way of knowing when in the 2.5 hours we were gone the spill occurred, but hoping that it was closer to my return than my departure I jumped right in to what I had fortuitously looked up several months ago--how to repair water marks on furniture.

I used to give team parties for my two swim teams and had had to do some fixes on furniture finishes because of people who were apparently raised in a barn. I mean who doesn't know how to use a coaster when they are scattered everywhere? But this was still standing water all on one side of the table. I had read an article that recommended using a hot iron to extract the water. Well, son of a gun, it works. There were multiple places on the table (solid cherry wood not veneer) that had water on them and there were already indications that the water had begun to settle in to the wood when I wiped it dry. So I ran up two flights of stairs to my quilting studio and grabbed my iron and then grabbed a terry cloth towel.

I had never used this particular fix before but what is recommended is that you lay the towel over the area with the water spot(s), place a hot iron on the towel over the spot, hold for 30 seconds, lift the towel, wipe, and repeat. I was astonished. I had wiped the table dry but when I lifted the towel after holding the iron on the spot(s) there was water again on the table. So the hot iron was bringing the water out of the wood to the surface where it could be wiped off. I spent about twenty minutes moving the iron from place to place and checking each time. At the end of the twenty minutes, there were no watermarks, no visible darkening of the wood, nothing.

Since I made my dining room table myself, I was particularly interested in keeping it in reasonable shape. I don't mean in perfect museum quality shape, but we do take care not to place wet glasses on the wood. Now we know for sure to not leave the cats with a vase of water either, even if we don't think they have the strength to knock over that heavy vase. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Son's Honeymoon Over, Move Coming Up

My son and his bride flew back to the States today from their extended honeymoon in Italy. They went from Paris via train to Torino, then by car to a few points in northern Italy, then drove to Naples where they ditched the car, then to Capri and Ischia and then by train to Paris for a couple of days before flying back home. It isn't the kind of trip I enjoy since I like to stay in one place a little longer and his longest stay was four days in Capri (which they disliked because of the tourist nature of the place). But they drove down the eastern coast of Italy and then across to Naples and saw all sorts of towns that they wanted to investigate.

My husband and I will shortly be moving again to the new/old house. We met with the contractors today and the move in day is somewhere between the 14th and the 21st of November. The kitchen cabinets are mostly installed, the countertops are being fabricated, the finish carpentry is supposed to be done on the 31st of October; everything is moving swiftly now. That means that my husband and I have to paint the master bedroom and the study attached to the master bedroom and paint the living room. The professional crew will be finishing painting the dining room and the gallery space and the electricians will be installing all of the lights.

I like painting. I have a lot of experience painting. So when the professionals even shocked our contracting company with their bid, I told my husband there was no problem with me painting. In fact this job is easier than most that I have done because I don't have to do any taping or mudding or filling in gaps in the plaster, just paint. Some of the rooms had to be primed but the ones that remain were just painted last summer by the real estate agent and had been painted previously so there isn't much priming and no mudding necessary. My husband always marvels at how steady my hand is when painting. I have found over many years that I am better off not using masking tape, not even the new tape that is head and shoulders over the previous stuff, because my edges are cleaner and my discipline is better. It is important to spend money on good paint and a good brush though and taking care of those is important as well. So the fact that I am in my 70th year now doesn't mean that I can't still climb a ladder and get the job done.