December 2017

Christmas Carol 2017

 A carol for Christmas, 2017
(Sing to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen")
God damn ye Trumped Republicans,
Who wallow in your swamp,
We must recall you and your president,
On this our Christmas month,
To save us from Kleptocracy,
Which fills your filthy trough.
Oh, tidings of bribery and graft,
Bribery and graft,
Oh tidings of bribery and graft...
Public Citizen

Mal de Swamp #3

 Inspector General John Roth, who left the position last week, made the case for adequate resources. He noted that, “money can always be used as a weapon to diminish our ability to conduct the active and independent oversight that Congress and the public deserve.” Peter Tyler, POGO, Dec. 4, 2917


The egg and the fate of the republic

 I had been asked frequently, because I was presumed to understand politics by those who want to know, to predict who was going to win in Alabama: the child molester or the Democrat. If you think that is not an appetizing question to accompany your morning coffee, I would agree with you.

The Holy Nut and the "Interest Charge - Domestic International Sales Corporation"

As the Republican so-called "tax-reform" bill lurches forward, the Valley, specifically the Almond Industry, gives it the Ol' Valley Whine because the bill cuts the Interest Charge-Domestic International Sales Corporation.
It's going to be a sad Christmas in the Church of the Holy Nut if that ain't fixed before voting time. (For all we know, it has already been fixed, but, then, we, citizens of the nation, will be the very last to know what's in that bill.)

“We’ve got a hole that we’re developing..."

Sorta sounds like the state budget. -- blj
Sacramento Bee
How dry is it? Scientist says California has only slim chance of normal rainfall this winter
 Dale Kasler
This is how dry it has been so far this season: California’s chances of having a normal “water year” have fallen to around 33 percent in much of the state, according to a federal scientist.

Recent cogitations on marijuana in Modesto and in the state Capitol

 We don’t want to be Amsterdam, or Denver or even Humboldt County. But we don’t want to be left out, either. Editorial, Modesto Bee, Dec. 11, 2017

Following the will of the people of California, it has been -- as they used to say -- a trip watching state and local bureaucracies and hustling entrepreneurs large and small attempting to legalize the production, sale and distribution of recreational marijuana after more than 80 years of illegality and under the cloud of continual federal intransigence on the subject.

A water pollution event in Los Banos

 “I got railroaded,” Areias said, claiming he was paying more per hour for legal fees than he nets in two days with his farm. “It’s highway robbery. What they did to me today, I should have just let all 18 heifers die. It would have cost less money than what I’ll be paying.” -- Shanker, Los Banos Enterprise, Dec. 12, 2017



Dear California, Happy Armageddon

 “Climate change is real,” he warned a state Senate committee. “It is a threat to organized human existence. Maybe not in my life. I’ll be dead. What am I, 79?”
Then turning and facing the packed audience, Brown continued:
“A lot of you people are going to be alive. And you’re going to be alive in a horrible situation. You’re going to see mass migration, vector diseases, forest fires, Southern California burning up. That’s real, guys.” -- Skelton, LA Times, Dec. 14, 2017

Unbalanced country, unbalanced city

 We juxtaposed these two articles to contrast rural and urban concerns. We don't think the contrast is unfair to either section of American society, given the political exploitation of the contrast by that legion of hacks whose rhetoric is so professional it could make a stone resentful. That said, we are loyal to farm country in sickness and health, and we do think there is a lot of intellectual masturbation going on in urban America, which, we think, our second article is exemplary. -- blj
The Guardian

Growth of population and of wildfires in California

 Mike De Lasaux, a forester with the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the state ideally would burn hundreds of square miles of land with surface fuels annually, but he praised any efforts to reduce dangerously overgrown forests. The current plan moved forward following a recent agreement between state and federal agencies along with environmental, logging and recreational interests. -- Weber, Associated Press, Dec. 14, 2017