Thank you to everyone who volunteered, via last week’s Comments and my email, to educate the MAGAt in my life. You know who you are, you wonderful, cahooting, outlaw, democracy-loving truth-warriors. By now I hope you’ve received your mail from me, providing that the USPS is still a going concern where you live. Please note that I have removed that portion of last week’s blog to protect our psy-op, wink wink, nudge nudge.
It’s been a very rainy July here on the north shore of Long Island, the wettest July in over 50 years. I like rainy days. I like laying on the couch reading a murder mystery and rainy days give you permission to do just that and feel “productive”. I was reading one murder mystery last week and the story starts out with the main character, an English lady, taking a vacation to Robinson Caruso Island, which is waaaay off the coast of Chile. The character tours the place, then goes back to England via Santiago, and nothing else in the book relates to this trip to Robinson Caruso Island. Why? Why have the book open with a trip to Robinson Caruso Island?
I solved that mystery, easy, because I know how the publishing biz works. . The author took vacation to Robinson Caruso Island and put it in the book so she could use that vacation as a tax write-off.
I’m a genius.
Anyway, it kept raining and as a result, many of my daily runs were washed out so I was sitting at home many mornings when usually I would be out, running. Maybe some of you know this already, but while I was sitting at home I discovered that, when it comes to a daily 5-mile run, it’s easier to not do it.
It’s sooooo much easier to stay home, make a second cup of tea and a third piece of toast, and lie on the couch with a book. And I like my daily run! But what is going on here is a conspiracy of mind and body. After a human hits the age of 40, all Nature wants is for you to die and make room for the faster, cuter, younger humans. So Nature works in concert with your brain to urge you to slow down, wear Capri pants/grow a goatee, and basically give up.
Ha! I’m on to you, Nature! It’s been gorgeous weather this past few days and I, for one, being that I am 25 years past the age of 40, am not going according to plan. So,
You might wake up some mornin’
To the sound of something moving past your window in the wind
And if you’re quick enough to rise
You’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of someone’s fading shadow
Don’t be concerned, it’s not me chasing the bright elusive butterfly of love. It’s me plodding on, against every inclination to throw in the towel, giving Nature the old F U.
Last week you might remember that I put out a call for watercolor projects and thank you to those who have responded. We are gathering our reference material for exciting Pet Portraits so I don’t have a new project for you this week. However, I went digging into my archives and I brought back a blast from the past that I did in 2013 that is still relevant today (because it’s a classic).
I start with a tea bag, for size reference:
Apply resist, let dry:
I think you know where this is going:
This (below) is a picture of my paint brush, which is a size 00, but I cut some of the bristles off to make it a -000:
What we have so far:
Now for a little sky:
Painting in the darkest bits for last:
Now that I’ve painted everything I need over the resist. . .
. . . it’s time to peel it off:
I was painting Claude Monet’s garden in 2013 because I was working on my books about the 9 most thought-provoking gardens in the world and I thought I’d include Giverny. But Giverny is a BIG garden, one that deserved its own book, so I separated it from Gardens of Awe and Folly and made a little book all about it, all on its own.
My publisher passed on the project, so it’s been sitting in my closet for years. I looked at it today, first time since 2016, and I still like it. I might re-work it and get it out in time for the 100th anniversary of Monet’s death in 2024.
And now for the regularly scheduled blog:
I like to start our round up of the week’s news with something feel-good:
Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a close friend of former President and current Shitbag Donald Trump and one of his top 2016 campaign fund-raisers, was arrested in California on Tuesday on federal charges of failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators.
The seven-count indictment accuses Barrack, 74, of using his access to Shitbag Trump to advance the foreign policy goals of the United Arab Emirates and then lying to federal agents about his activities during an interview in June 2019.
Federal prosecutors said Barrack used his position as an adviser to Shitbag Trump’s campaign to publicly promote the Emirates’ agenda while soliciting direction, feedback, and talking points via a “burner phone” that gave Barrack a direct line to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the Emirates.
Once Shitbag Trump was elected, Barrack invited senior Emirati officials to give him a “wish list” of foreign policy moves they wanted Washington to take within the first 100 days, first six months, first year, and by the end of Shitbag Trump’s term.
Barrack hoped that Shitbag Trump would name him to be a Middle East envoy or an ambassador to the Emirates, because Barrack could “deliver more” in such roles.
Although it’s been difficult to successfully prosecute foreign influence cases in the past, the Feds have pretty hard evidence in the form of emails between Barrack and bin Zayed’s underlings stating explicit quid-pro-quo dealings, They (the Feds) waited until Trump was out of office to arrest Barrack, taking away Shitbag Trump’s ability to pardon Barrack.
This is my personal favorite part of the news cycle:
A 54-year-old Texas man, Alan Scott, who thought COVID-19 vaccines were “poison”, died from the virus last month and was buried by his wife and three sons on Father’s Day.
Blake Bargatze contracted COVID-19 and required a double lung transplant, and remains hospitalized. He has expressed his regret he did not get vaccinated for the virus, which has so far killed more than 607,000 Americans.
Bargatze had told his parents he was putting off receiving a COVID-19 vaccine because he felt uncertain about its possible side effects.
“He wanted to wait a few years to see, you know, if there’s any side effects or anything from it,” said Paul Nuclo, his stepfather. “As soon as he got in the hospital, though, he said he wished he had gotten the vaccine.”
Bargatze was the only member of his family who passed on getting vaccinated. Once hospitalized, however, he asked to be inoculated.
“The night before he was intubated, he wanted it,” his stepfather said. “So it was a little bit too late then.”
Linda Zuern lived in Bourne, Massachusetts. She was 70.
A MedFlight had to transport Zuern to a Boston hospital in early June. She fell into a coma and was placed on a ventilator until she died. She hadn’t gotten vaccinated against the virus, her friends said, because she was a moron.
Zuern opposed local vaccinations efforts, both as a member of the county government council, the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, and as a volunteer with a local conservative group called United Cape Patriots.
Last December, while serving her third term on the Assembly, she pushed for local doctors to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. Shitbag Trump had also promoted the same anti-malaria medication for that very purpose.
Last week, Zuern was one of four people who protested in Provincetown against the state’s VaxBus program. The bus is a mobile vaccination unit to help inoculate rural residents who might lack access to nearby health clinics.
On her social media, Zuern shared posts claiming that COVID-19 was a man-made virus used by “globalists” to push the “UN Agenda 2030” for a one-world government. She also shared posts pushing the QAnon conspiracy theory and repeating the claim that voter fraud “stole” the 2020 election from Trump.
Fuck you, Linda Zuern.
Olivia Guidry, a registered nurse at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center in Louisiana, tweeted last year: “This vaccine has been released using recombinant DNA faster than any vaccine in the world. It manipulates your DNA at the tiniest molecular level. Do. Not. Get. It. It’s not safe. Am I the only one thinking they are trying to see how much they can control us? We are a straight-up social experiment.”
She was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early July, according to her sister Brittany Smith. Guidry came down with a high fever and had a seizure before being put into a medically induced coma last Thursday after showing signs of brain damage. She was treated with high doses of steroids and antibodies. She died on July 10.
Well, no one is controlling her now. (How do these kinds of idiots become nurses? Don’t you have learn about science and stuff, in a college, to get a nursing license, or is nursing the degree you get when you flunk out of Circus School?)
Now here’s Shitbag Trump weighing in on a vaccine for a disease that he and his party have called a “hoax”:
Democrats will laugh all the way to a 2022 victory:
Oh, wait…I think the Republicans are on to us:
On Fox, businesses that require employees to provide proof of vaccination, commonly referred to as a “vaccine passport,” have been slammed frequently. Tucker Carlson has called the idea of issuing vaccination passports the medical equivalent of “Jim Crow” segregationist laws. Another host compared the requirements to communist East Germany, and Laura Ingraham has falsely claimed that such programs are akin to tracking mechanisms.
However, an internal Fox email leaked last month spells out how Fox employees were instructed to enter their vaccination information into the company’s passport program called “FOX Clear Pass”.
Employees who prove vaccination can then get a FOX Clear Pass, which allows them to bypass certain screening procedures.
It’s not just the twerps at Fox News who are coming to Jesus:
Even Steve Scales, the biggest Trump ass-kisser in Congress (representing Louisiana’s First Congressional District) got the vaccine and people are suspicious:
Speaking of the other Big Lie of the GOP, let’s see how the losers who rioted for Shitbag Trump are doing:
A 32-page sentencing memo filed Thursday in defense of Paul Hodgkins references cancel culture, makes religious overtones and includes lengthy asides about the American Civil War. The memo describes Hodgkins’ role in the riots as minimal as it denotes his good character traits, describing him as an Eagle Scout who volunteers helping animals and people when he is not rioting in Washington, DC.
Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property so prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge, which carries a maximum 20-years prison sentence.
But they also noted how he boarded a bus in Tampa bound for a Jan. 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protective goggles, and latex gloves in a backpack — saying that these forethought demonstrated he came to Washington prepared for violence.
Still, the judge said that Hodgkins must suffer consequences for his actions and gave eight months.
Yeah, that sounds about white.
Then there’s this guy:
27-year old grocery store worker Brandon Fellows from Schenectady (a shithole town in upstate New York) had previously been released on bail while facing a five-count indictment for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.
He is accused of breaching the Capitol and entering the office of Sen. Jeffrey Merkley, where he was pictured propping his feet on the senator’s desk while smoking a joint.
The problem with Fellows is that while he is out on bail, he can’t stop telephoning his probation officer Kendra Rennie. He has sent her long rambling sexually explicit voicemails, including one that he left in May in which he referenced “the size of his dick and the performance of his genitalia.”
He’s even called his probation officer’s mother, which officer Rennie says ” was intimidation. It was frightening. It made me nervous.”
For background, it should be understood that Fellows has previously told Bloomberg News that he had “no regrets” breaching the Capitol on January 6. He said: “I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t break anything. I did trespass though, I guess.”.
He goes on: “We were there for one common cause, which is making a statement that the government is crashing down on us,” he added.
So a judge heard testimony from the probation officer and said that Fellows’ repeated behavior could no longer “be given the benefit of the doubt.”HE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. (Yeah, that sounds about white.)
The judge also said that Fellows has previously demonstrated “sustained contempt” for the government, citing one incident in which Fellows sat through his initial Zoom hearing wearing sweatpants and eating his breakfast. Not to mention that Bloomberg News interview.
The judge said: “I am not convinced that you’re a danger to the community, but I do think you’re impulsive. I do think you’re headstrong, and you’re kind of gonna do what you’re gonna do. I tried really hard to avoid having to lock you up, but after months here, I don’t think I can be at all confident that there’s a condition or combination of conditions that you’ll adhere to.”
Fellows tried to worm out of taking responsibility by apologizing for his “annoying” behavior in court, adding: “I wouldn’t want to deal with me if I were on the opposing side.”
It didn’t work. Fellows is in jail, where he belongs, until he goes on trial.
ALL the January 6 rioters should be in jail, right now.
Like these guys:
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Mark Ibrahim became the first member of federal law enforcement to be charged in connection with the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Ibrahim, of Orange County, California, is facing felony charges of entering a restricted building and area with a weapon, carrying a firearm on the grounds of the Capitol and lying to investigators from the Office of the Inspector General.
While the affidavit states Ibrahim didn’t actually enter the Capitol building, the affidavit includes a photo of Ibrahim inside the first set of fencing and barricades that surrounded the Capitol before the crowd broke through and alleges Ibrahim was on Capitol grounds that day.
Through his attorney, Ibrahim has insisted that he didn’t enter the Capitol and wasn’t involved with any violence. He also allegedly said he didn’t display his DEA badge or firearm during the day’s events; however, the affidavit detailing Ibrahim’s locations and actions that day shows him posing several times with his badge and weapon exposed.
Investigators found several photos of Ibrahim among the pro-Trump crowd at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including ones where he displayed both his DEA badge and firearm, which were taken at his request, according to the affidavit. In one of the photos, Ibrahim is posing in front of the Capitol holding a flag saying “Liberty or death” with his badge and firearm displayed on his hip.
Ibrahim also sent a photo of himself standing next to one of the barricades that had been broken through earlier to a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers, according to the affidavit. It also mentioned that he later sent that same group chat a video of him on a lawn located above the Capitol’s visitor center.
During his interview with investigators, the affidavit states that Ibrahim admitted that he was at the Capitol with a friend who was there to document the event for the FBI. Ibrahim’s friend denied his story, saying he had no instruction from the agency.
The friend told the investigators that Ibrahim went to the rally to “promote himself” and wanted the rally to be “his stage for launching ‘Liberty Tavern’ political podcast and cigar brand,” according to the affidavit.
At the time of the event, Ibrahim was a “probationary employee” of the DEA, according to the Office of the Inspector General, and had, weeks before the insurrection, given the DEA notice of his intention to resign. He was on personal leave when he attended the rally on Jan. 6.
When Tucker Carlson of Fox News isn’t lying about the COVID vaccine, he’s lying about the January 6 insurrection. On Wednesday, July 21, Carlson did this:
Dunn’s response was immediate (I’ll type it below so you can read it):
Tonight Fox News allowed its host Tucker Carlson, who has not served a day in uniform, whether military or law enforcement, to criticize the heroism and service of African-American U. S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. Our client has served 11 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd – no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters – to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence.
Officer Dunn, who would lay down his life to protect a Member of Congress, regardless of being a Republican or Democrat, will testify next Tuesday before the Hose Select Committee investigating the events of the insurrection. Frankly, the last thing Carlson wants is for the truth to emerge of what happened that day and why.
I did not know this until now, that Tucker Carlson’s son, Buckley, works for Rep. Jim Banks, a rabid Trumper from Indiana. Banks is a major asshole, and I will elaborate next week because we have to wrap this shit up.
This is the guy who voted to deny communion to President Biden because of his support for a woman’s right to make her own health care choices when it comes to pregnancy:
Sorry, Dear Readers for the delay in today’s blog. Big WiFi problems. Huge. sigh.
Have a great weekend, everyone. WiFi willing, I’ll be back next week.