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Trenz Pruca’s Observations: Rumination on the Long Generation.

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If when I was five years old and shook the hand and listened to the stories of someone who was the age that I am now, he would have been born during the Civil War. If he in turn, when he was five, shook the hand of another old man and listened to his stories, he might have learned that that man when he was young had shaken the hand of someone who knew Shakespeare at the height of his theatrical career. Two handshakes by old men represent a chain of history from Donald Trump to William Shakespeare.

Hmm——This may evidence that, as a species, we may have been devolving faster than we realize.

Recently, my partner told me that when she was young her Grandmother told her that when she was young and growing up near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, she used to see Queen Victoria and Prince Albert traveling in their carriage to the local church to attend Sunday services.

This is a long generation.

 

Extract from the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination Candidate Issue Comparison Sheet, No 3: Affordable Housing, Climate Change, Gun Control, and Immigration.

democratic-presidential-candidates

In two prior post (HERE and HERE) I reviewed a Daily Kos article introducing a spreadsheet listing all the announced candidates for the Democratic nomination for President and their respective positions on a multitude of issues. It is in spreadsheet format and will be updated as the candidates change or add to their positions during the nomination process. Unfortunately due to its format, the number of candidates and the plethora of policies it may be difficult and time consuming to use.

In order to simplify things and hopefully make it more comprehensible and usable, in my prior posts, I limited the analysis to the five candidates currently leading in the polls (Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren) and to only two issues in my first post ( Healthcare and voting rights) and four additional issues (Governmental Reform, LGBTQ, Gender, and Race) in the second. In this post, we look at four more —  Affordable housing, Climate change, Gun control, and Immigration.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the differences between the candidates on the issues appear slight. All the candidates pledge to make substantive changes for the better on the issues listed and significantly greater than anything proposed by Republicans and the current administration. The differences between the candidates on any single issue appears to be significant only to a candidates supporter or to those who have a vested interest in the specific issue. I must emphasize that all the candidates, on every issue, are light years more progressive than the most liberal Republican and beyond that from the current incumbent of the White House. I have my own favorites but would be proud to vote for any one of these candidates who receives the nomination. I hope you will too.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

 

Biden

 

“- Favors more funding to build affordable housing units
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters
– Housing support to upgrade infrastructure to be more energy-efficient”

 

Buttigeig

 

“- Favors creating incentives for cities and states to change their zoning laws
– Favors more funding to build affordable housing units
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters”

 

 

Harris

 

“- Proposed the Rent Relief Act, which would give a tax credit to any individual who pays over 30% of their income towards rent. Their income must be $100,000 or less. (In more expensive markets, the income limit is raised to $125,000)
– Favors more funding to build affordable housing units
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters”

 

 

Sanders

 

 

“- Favors more funding to build affordable housing units
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters”
“- Favors creating incentives for cities and states to change their zoning laws
– Favors more funding to build affordable housing units
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters
– Favors more funding to assist people displaced in expensive housing markets”

 

 

 

Warren

“- Proposed the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which aims to reduce zoning restrictions, reduce the cost of housing development, and offer financial assistance to families that cannot receive a loan for a downpayment due to discriminatory practices.
– The bill also would add funding to improve the monitoring system to track banks that have discriminatory practices in lending to people of color.
– The bill would focus development of more housing in rural and low-income areas as well – not just thriving metropolitan centers
– Favors more funding to assist people displaced in expensive housing markets
– Favors stronger protections for homeowners/renters”

 

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

 

 

 

Biden

“- Believes the Green New Deal is a good framework to start the conversation on climate policy
– Wants to bring the US back to the Paris Agreement
– Favors stronger environmental regulations on water and air
– Net-zero emissions by 2050
– Carbon tariffs on other countries that pollute at high rates
– Diplomatic pressure to encourage countries to meet their target rate
– $1.7 trillion investment in renewable energy jobs
– Invest in communities of color and low-income communities impacted by environmental abuse
– Use housing strategies to mitigate urban sprawl and become more energy efficient
– Favors 500,000 more electric charging stations for electric cars by 2030
– Opposes Keystone XL pipeline”

 

 

Buttigieg

“- Supports the Green New Deal
– Wants to bring the US back to the Paris Agreement
– Favors stronger environmental regulations on water and air
– Favors a carbon tax that would be issued back to taxpayers as a rebate”

 

 

 

Harris

 

 

“- Supports the Green New Deal
– Wants to bring the US back to the Paris Agreement
– Favors stronger environmental regulations on water and air
– Opposes Keystone XL pipeline”

 

 

Sanders

“- Supports the Green New Deal
– Wants to bring the US back to the Paris Agreement
– Favors stronger environmental regulations on water and air
– Opposes Keystone XL pipeline”

 

 

Warren

 

 

“- Supports the Green New Deal
– Wants to bring the US back to the Paris Agreement
– Favors stronger environmental regulations on water and air
– Create an industrial policy for clean energy infrastructure
– Invest $2 trillion into green industries like solar, energy efficiency, etc
– Create a National Institute for Clean Energy
– Opposes Keystone XL pipeline”

 

 

 

 

 

GUN CONTROL

 

 

 

Biden

“- Supports Universal Background Checks
– Close Gun Show and Online Sales Loopholes
– Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban
– Only sell Smart-Guns, which require a fingerprint and pulse
– Favors voluntary gun buy-backs”

 

 

Buttigieg

 
“- Supports Universal Background Checks
– Close Gun Show and Online Sales Loopholes
– Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban”

 

 

 

Harris

“- Supports Universal Background Checks
– Close Gun Show and Online Sales Loopholes
– Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban
– Would require anyone selling at least 5 firearms a year to have a license
– Would suspend AR-15 style assault weapon imports until the ATF can conduct a study on if imports should be banned permanently
– Willing to use Executive Action to achieve gun policies”

 

 

 

Sanders

 
“- Supports Universal Background Checks
– Close Gun Show and Online Sales Loopholes
– Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban
– Concerned about letting individuals sue gun manufacturing companies if they are harmed by their products”

 

 

 

Warren

“- Supports Universal Background Checks
– Close Gun Show and Online Sales Loopholes
– Re-authorize the Assault Weapons Ban”

 

 

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

 

 

Biden

 
“- Supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
– Opposes Trump’s Border Wall
– Opposes separating children from parents at the border
– Reform ICE’s policies
– Supports the DREAM Act
– Favors admitting more refugees from all humanitarian emergencies (Central America and Syria)
– Favors decriminalizing crossing the border”

 

 

 

Buttigieg

“- Supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
– Opposes Trump’s Border Wall
– Opposes separating children from parents at the border
– Reform ICE’s policies
– Supports the DREAM Act
– Favors admitting more refugees from all humanitarian emergencies (Central America and Syria)
– Favors decriminalizing crossing the border”

 

 

 

Harris

 
“- Supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
– Opposes Trump’s Border Wall
– Opposes separating children from parents at the border
– Reform ICE
– Supports the DREAM Act
– Favors admitting more refugees from all humanitarian emergencies (Central America and Syria)
– Executive action on day one to re-instate DACA protections to recipients and their parents
– Favors deferring deportation for veterans
– Favors decriminalizing crossing the border”

 

 

 

 

Sanders

 
“- Supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
– Opposes Trump’s Border Wall
– Opposes separating children from parents at the border
– Supports abolishing ICE
– Supports the DREAM Act
– Favors admitting more refugees from all humanitarian emergencies (Central America and Syria)
– Favors decriminalizing crossing the border”

 

 

 

 

Warren

 
“- Supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
– Opposes Trump’s Border Wall
– Opposes separating children from parents at the border
– Supports abolishing ICE
– Supports the DREAM Act
– Favors admitting more refugees from all humanitarian emergencies (Central America and Syria)”

Extract from the 2020 Democratic Candidate Comparison Sheet No 2: GOVERNMENTAL REFORM, LGBTQ, GENDER, AND RACE.

democratic-presidential-candidates

In a prior post (HERE) I reviewed a Daily Kos article that referred to a spreadsheet listing all the announced candidates and their positions on a multitude of issues. In order to simplify things, in my prior post, I limited it to the five candidates currently leading in the polls (Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren) and to only two issues ( Healthcare and voting rights). In this post, I review the findings for four additional issues (Governmental Reform,  LGBTQ, Gender, and Race).

As I pointed out in my previous post, the differences between the candidates appear slight. All the candidates pledge to make substantive changes for the better on the issues listed and significantly greater than anything proposed by Republicans and the current administration. I see the differences between the candidates on most of the individual issue to be significant only to a candidates supporter or to those who have a vested interest in the specific issue. I must emphasize that all the candidates, on every issue, are light years more progressive than the most liberal Republican and beyond that from the current incumbent of the White House. I have my own favorites but would be proud to vote for any one of these candidates who receives the nomination.  I hope you will too.

 

 GOVERNMENT REFORM

 

Biden

 

“- Supports HR 1 (Anti-Corruption bill that aims to address Campaign Finance, Government Ethics, Lobbying Reform, and Corruption)
– Favors legislation to end gerrymandering
– Opposes abolishing the Filibuster in the US Senate
– Uncomfortable adding more seats to the Supreme Court
– Supports DC and Puerto Rico statehood
– No comment on term limits for Supreme Court Justices
– Believes impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump should begin if he impedes investigations any further
– Would consider appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court”

 

 

Buttigieg

 

“- Supports adding more seats to the Supreme Court
– Support abolishing the Filibuster in the US Senate
– Uncomfortable with impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump”

 

 

Harris

 

“- Supports HR 1 (Anti-Corruption bill that aims to address Campaign Finance, Government Ethics, Lobbying Reform and Corruption)
– Open to adding More Seats to the Supreme Court
– Supports DC statehood
– Favors impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump”

 

 

Sanders

 

“- Supports HR 1 (Anti-Corruption bill that aims to address Campaign Finance, Government Ethics, Lobbying Reform, and Corruption)
– Opposes abolishing the Filibuster in the US Senate
– Supports DC Statehood
– Uncomfortable with expanding the size of the Supreme Court
– Favors term limits for Supreme Court Justices, with a rotational system where Appellate Justices switch on and off the court
– Open to changing the Electoral College
– No comment on impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump”

 

 

Warren

 

“- Supports HR 1 (Anti-Corruption bill that aims to address Campaign Finance, Government Ethics, Lobbying Reform and Corruption)
– Open to adding more seats on the Supreme Court
– Favors abolishing the Filibuster in the US Senate
– Supports DC Statehood
– Favors abolishing the Electoral College
– Favors impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump
– Would eliminate the Justice Department rule which states a sitting president cannot be indicted
– Would end the practice of appointing wealthy campaign donors to Ambassador posts”

 

 

 

LGBTQ

 

Biden

 

“-Supports the EQUALITY Act (non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people)
– Opposes transgender military ban
– Favors banning conversion therapy”

 

 

Buttigieg

 

“-Supports the EQUALITY Act (non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people)
– Opposes transgender military ban
– Supports gender reassignment surgery for transgender individuals in prison
– Favors banning conversion therapy”

 

Harris

 

“-Supports the EQUALITY Act (non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people)
– Opposes transgender military ban
– Favors banning conversion therapy”

 

 

Sanders

 

“-Supports the EQUALITY Act (non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people)
– Opposes transgender military ban
– Favors banning conversion therapy
– Favors passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBTQ students”

 

 

Warren

 

“-Supports the EQUALITY Act (non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people)
– Opposes transgender military ban
– Favors banning conversion therapy
– Proposed a bill that would permit married same-sex couples to retroactively file for tax benefits that they were denied until 2013 when the laws changed”

 

 

GENDER

 

 

Biden

“- Supports equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender identity
– Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

 

 

Buttigieg

 

“- Supports equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender identity
– Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

 

Harris

 

“- Supports equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender identity
– Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
– Would implement legislation that would fine companies and organizations that do not provide pay equity
– Would shift the burden of proof on pay disparities to employers instead of employees”

 

Sanders

 

“- Supports equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender identity
– Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
– Favors universal paid family leave”

 

 

Warren

 

“- Supports equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender identity
– Supports ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
– Favors universal paid family leave
– Favors universal childcare”

 

 

RACE

 

 

 

Biden

 

“- No comment on HR 40, which calls for a study commission to assess the cost of Reparations and how to best administer it to descendants of slaves
– Favors reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
– Favors reinstating Obama programs that tracks white nationalist activity across the country
– Favors expanding monitoring of hate crimes
– Opposes busing at the federal level”

 

 

Buttigieg

 

“- Favors HR 40, which calls for a study commission to assess the cost of Reparations and how to best administer it to descendants of slaves
– Favors reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
– Favors reinstating Obama programs that tracks white nationalist activity across the country
– Favors expanding monitoring of hate crimes
– Favors finding policies to reverse the red-lining practices from the 20th century
– Proposed a “”Douglass Plan,”” aimed at increasing economic prosperity for African Americans and other minorities. It would reform the way credit scores are formed and increase opportunities for minority-owned businesses to receive federal contract dollars”

 

 

Harris

 

“- Favors HR 40, which calls for a study commission to assess the cost of Reparations and how to best administer it to descendants of slaves
– Favors reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
– Favors reinstating Obama programs that tracks white nationalist activity across the country
– Favors expanding monitoring of hate crimes
– Favors finding policies to reverse the red-lining practices from the 20th century
– Would put $100 billion towards supporting black families so they can purchase homes in historically redlined neighborhoods
– Opposes busing at the federal level”

 

 

Sanders

 

“- Would sign HR 40, which calls for a study commission to assess the cost of Reparations and how to best administer it to descendants of slaves
– Has expressed concerns Reparations is “”too vague”” and needs to be fleshed out
– Concerned it would just be “”cutting a check”” to individuals
– Favors reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
– Favors reinstating Obama programs that tracks white nationalist activity across the country
– Open to funding busing for school integration, but is wary”

 

 

Warren

 

“- Favors HR 40, which calls for a study commission to assess the cost of Reparations and how to best administer it to descendants of slaves
– Favors reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system
– Favors reinstating Obama programs that tracks white nationalist activity across the country
– Favors expanding monitoring of hate crimes
– Favors finding policies to reverse the red-lining practices from the 20th century
– Favors an executive order that requires federal contractors to pay all employees equally and to diversify their workforce

TODAY’S FRACTURED FACTOID: The World Will End in 2040.

943022-gorgerous-end-of-the-world-wallpaper-2560x1600-hd-1080p
The World Will End in 2040.

 

In 1973 a computing program called “World 1” developed by MIT researchers, after analyzing, population, pollution and natural resource usage, calculated “the end of civilization as we know it” will occur by 2040 with a major change coming by 2020.

(Probably the re-election of He Who is Not My President.)

(See, https://aeon.co/videos/civilisation-peaked-in-1940-and-will-collapse-by-2040-the-data-based-predictions-of-1973 . See also, https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1002422/Apocalypse-2040-MIT-computer-model-civilisation-world-end-Club-of-Rome)

The Velvet Slippers.

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I have just read in the newspaper that Lee Iacocca died (Iacocca developed the Ford Mustang, later became CEO and Chairman of the Board of Chrysler and was chosen as among the top 20 greatest business executives in American history.) A number of years ago, my friend Suzzie and I traveled to Auburn Hills Michigan to visit Lee and his then new wife Darrien, a good friend of Suzzie’s. We had dinner with Lee and Darrien. I remember the red velvet slippers with the gold embroidered design on top that Lee was wearing. I also remember Lee as a nice guy and gracious host, although at dinner he seemed a little grumpy— (he complained about the pasta). I think he and Darrien had just had a slight contretemps before we arrived. Today, I received a very nice email from Suzzie in which she wrote about our trip and her memories of Lee. Here is a portion of that email:

Earlier today I learned that Lee Iacocca had passed away. I’ve remained friends with his ex-wife Darrien, who maintained a relationship with him to the end. I spoke with her this evening and after our conversation, I recalled many fond memories of the times I spent around Lee. One of them was with you.

I’ve learned my memory is quite specific about certain things but not necessarily accurate. However, I do remember when you and I decided we needed to go to Auburn Hills where Lee and Darrien lived to pitch business, what business I’m not entirely sure, but I liked the idea of convincing the lobbying firm I was with at the time to pay my way to auburn hills to see my dear friend Darrien. You were game to go along for the ride. What a team!

I also remember Dick _______ was a big Mustang fan and gave me a poster of a Shelby Mustang for Lee to sign. As I further recall, we were at dinner at Lee’s house and his friend Carroll Shelby happened to be there. I was so happy I could return to California with Dick’s poster signed by both. I’m quite sure neither of us returned with any business but we sure had a great time! I’m glad I have that memory of a really fun time with you…

Separate from that, I had a 1990 Range Rover (or lemon rover as I called it). Lee kept asking me when I was going to get rid of that horrible car and get the soon to be released Jeep Grand Cherokee. I went to Auburn Hills to visit them and Lee drove a prototype home to make his point. I got to drive it all weekend. Just so happens the Range Rover was such a lemon that Range Rover gave me my money back. I told Lee I dumped the car and he’d better sell me the Jeep Grand Cherokee at his price (which he did). I was the recipient of the second Jeep Grand Cherokee to be delivered to West LA. Darrien’s daughter was the first. I still love Jeeps.

I was very fond of Lee. He was a good man with a sparkle on his eye. He treated me with respect at a time when as a young woman in Sacramento I experienced the opposite from some men… He was one who helped build my confidence (along with you and Terry and Bill ______) and have made me the evil person I am today. Lol!

Rest in peace Lee Iacocca. I hope you are still wearing those bitchin slippers wherever you are.

Extract from the 2020 Democratic Candidate Comparison Sheet – 7/9/2019: HEALTHCARE and VOTING RIGHTS.

5523701-gavel-and-u-s-constitution-shot-on-american-flag

Recently, I read an article in Daily Kos (HERE) that refers the reader to the author’s spreadsheet that lists all the candidates for the Democratic nomination for President and their positions on most of the issues. I turned to the spreadsheet and found it to contain a wealth of information. Unfortunately, because of the number of candidates and issues involved it is somewhat difficult to compare their positions on the issues.

In an effort to make it a bit easier to do the comparisons in this and each of the posts that follow, I look at two issues in each and the positions of only the five leading candidates Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren.

What most struck me was basically how little substantive difference on the issues existed among the candidates. For example, on the issue of healthcare, all five candidates seek to make healthcare available for all through a public option except Sanders who prefers a single-payer system (Warren appears to support both).

 

 

HEALTHCARE

 

 

BIDEN

-“- Favors a public option through Medicare
– Price controls on Prescription Drugs
– Favors expanding addiction treatment programs to address the opioid epidemic
– Favors expanding the ACA
– Critical of Single Payer systems
– Undocumented people can enroll in the public option program
– Favors jailing pharmaceutical executives involved in the opioid crisis
– Favors having Medicare negotiate drug prices”

 

 

BUTTIGIEG

“- Favors creating a public option funded through Medicare that people could enroll into or they could keep their private insurance
– Has suggested it would be Buy-In program, where low-income people wouldn’t pay monthly rates but wealthier people would
– Open to a transition to single payer down the road
-Price controls on Prescription Drugs
– Favors expanding addiction treatment programs to address the opioid epidemic
– Favors fixing the ACA to full strength
– Favors letting undocumented immigrants enroll in the public option healthcare plan
– Undocumented people can enroll in the public option program”

 

 

HARRIS

“- Favors a public option (unclear through Medicare or Medicaid)
– Price controls on Prescription Drugs
– Co-Sponsor of Medicare-For-All bill (Single Payer)
– Favors expanding addiction treatment programs to address the opioid epidemic
– Favors fixing the ACA to full strength
– Undocumented people can enroll in the public option program”

 

 

SANDERS

 

“- Favors creating a single payer, national Healthcare System and abolishing private insurance companies
– Price controls on Prescription Drugs
– Wrote Medicare-For All bill (Single Payer)
– Favors expanding addiction treatment programs to address the opioid epidemic
– Opposes any fixes to the ACA while waiting for a public option or single payer
– Undocumented people can enroll in the public option program”

 

 

WARREN

 

“- Favors a public option (unclear through Medicare or Medicaid)
– Price controls on Prescription Drugs
– Co-Sponsor of Medicare-For-All bill (Single Payer)
– Favors expanding addiction treatment programs to address the opioid epidemic
– Favors generic prescription drug production by the government
– Favors fixing the ACA to full strength
– Favors attaching federal funding for hospitals based on outcomes, such as removing funding if racial disparities in treatment exist
– Wants insurance to cover abortion and birth control”

 

 

 

 

VOTING RIGHTS

 

 

BIDEN

 

“- Favors restoring the Voting Rights Act
-Wants to overturn Citizens United
– Supports states that implement Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, Expand Early Voting, and Non-Partisan Redistricting Commissions”

 

 

BUTTIGIEG

 

“- Favors restoring the Voting Rights Act
-Wants to overturn Citizens United
– Abolish the Electoral College
– Favors restoring voting rights for ex-felons
– Opposes letting people in prison vote”

 

 

HARRIS

 

“- Favors restoring the Voting Rights Act
-Wants to overturn Citizens United
– Supports states that implement Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, Expand Early Voting, and Non-Partisan Redistricting Commissions
– Favors restoring voting rights for ex-felons
– Open to discussion of 16-year-olds voting”

 

 

SANDERS

 

– Favors restoring the Voting Rights Act
-Wants to overturn Citizens United
– Make Election Day a Holiday
– Supports states that implement Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, Expand Early Voting, and Non-Partisan Redistricting Commissions
– Favors letting people in prison vote
WARREN

 

“- Favors restoring the Voting Rights Act
-Wants to overturn Citizens United
– Supports states that implement Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, Expand Early Voting, and Non-Partisan Redistricting Commissions
– Favors a mandate for early voting and same-day registration
– Favors making Election Day a national holiday
– Favors allowing a vote by mail”

Preliminary and not particularly insightful comments on the first Democratic so-called debate.

fact-checking-the-first-night-of-the-first-democratic-presidential-debate-8211-cnn

It is now the morning before the first debate among the Democratic candidates for president. Usually, during the presidential nominating extravaganza, I write something I consider humorous about the spectacle. For example, during the 2015 nominating campaign, I wrote:

The Republicans candidates for their Party’s nomination completed the third of their scheduled 10 debates. They primarily attacked the moderators as being part of the liberal media for asking questions they did not want to answer. The Donald tweeted during the debate that he was embarrassed being there. So were most of those watching, I suspect. Everyone criticizes CSMB for not keeping control over the debate. In fairness to the moderators, it should be pointed out that they are news readers and not kindergarten teachers. Anyway, most commentators believe Water Boy won the debate by responding to The Lesser of the Lesser Bushes’ claim he has missed the most votes among all Senators because he keeps “French Hours,” that he is not lazy because other Senators miss votes too. (I cannot wait for the SNL version.) Others thought Cruz the Münster won because he was best at refusing to answer the questions. Nevertheless, the consensus among the common folk was that The Donald won because he was… well, The Donald.

After three years of He Who Is Not My President, I find there is nothing to laugh about any more only sadness in watching the Democratic candidates once again tearing each other apart.

That evening we watched the debate among ten of the 20 announced candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. I thought all the candidates did relatively well. Elizabeth Warren amazingly appeared always able to answer the most complicated questions within the time allocated. On the whole, the debate stage seemed to lack the appearance of being simply a collection of ignorant idiots that usually marks the Republican debates. The only thing I found annoying occurred after the debate when the commentators told us who “won,” as though we had not also watched or we were too ignorant to make up our own minds.

One of the things I found both amusing and interesting was De Blasio cowering the debate moderators into changing the focus of their questions away from the candidates who because they were leading in the polls were posted at the center of the debate stage and refocusing it on the less well-known candidates at its edges. Tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to see the other ten Democratic candidates debate. Actually, it is not a debate at all. There is no debate. The candidates merely answer questions as they would do in any employment interview.

After the debate, we walked the dog. When we got home we tried to turn on the TV to see if there was any movie worth watching. The TV was not working for some reason so we went to bed.

I received the following in an email from my friend Gerry with a G who lives in Thailand and rides motorcycles:

“A rabbit runs, and hops, and only lives15 years, while a tortoise doesn’t run, and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. And they tell us to exercise? I don’t think so.”

Take care of yourselves — Get a lot of sleep. Live like a tortoise.

. Tuckahoe Joe’s Blog of the Week: Another Snag from Logarithmic History — What Do Women Want?

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As anyone who has read Trenz Pruca’s Journal should realize by now that, as a history buff, I have a fondness for this particular blog. The entry reproduced below is both more humorous and prurient than most in the blog focusing as it does on the differences between early humans and our great ape brethren in the physical equipment available for procreation.

 

What do women want?

 

As we noted in the last post, human females conceal ovulation (no chimp-style monthly sexual swellings) but advertise nubility (with conspicuous fat deposits). Presumably, this has to do with sexual selection, via male mate choice. But sexual selection may have operated in the opposite direction, on male anatomy, as well.

Males of most primate species have a baculum or penis bone. Human beings and spider monkeys are exceptions. (A mnemonic: the mammals with penis bones are PRICCs – primates, rodents, insectivores, carnivores, chiropterans=bats.) The baculum helps to retract the penis when it’s not in use, so males in our species, lacking a penis bone, have more conspicuous dangling organs than most primate males.

This information comes from a recent book The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – and Us, by Robert Prum. Prum also cites a paper arguing that Adam’s “rib” (Hebrew tsela), the thing God used to make Eve (Genesis 2:21-23), was actually his baculum, providing a creationist explanation of “congenital human baculum deficiency.” The book contains lots of interesting tidbits like this, although its central argument — that sexual selection via mate choice is largely a result of non-adaptive aesthetic preferences — is shaky.

Men’s penises lack something else found in most primate species: most male primates have keratinized spines on their penises. But a gene involved in the development of penis spines got turned off in our evolutionary lineage, sometime after our split with chimps, but before our split with Neanderthals. We’re not sure why. Penis spines might be favored in promiscuously mating species if they help one male dredge out sperm left by earlier matings with other males. So (relative) monogamy in our lineage might remove the evolutionary advantage of spines. But a non-spiny penis might also be less sensitive, and make for more prolonged intercourse.

If all this doesn’t answer the question “What do women want?”, it at least narrows down the possibilities a bit: not men with bony, spiny penises, apparently.

 

https://logarithmichistory.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/what-do-women-want-3/

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