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Ted Cruz as Senator and The Donald

From what I have researched about his record in Congress, it appears he gives rousing speeches about this or that issue — then fails to show up to vote for it.
Dating back to his election in 2012, he has attended fewer than half of his meetings for the Armed Services Career Committee and Judiciary Committee. He has been absent for votes on aid for Israel, student loans and human trafficking.

From January 2013 to February 2016, Cruz has missed 138 of 1,011 roll call votes, or 13.6%. Of course, he is on the campaign trail, as are Senators Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio, but their voting records do not compare to his absenteeism from the House.

There is conjecture that he is attempting to please the Tea Party by displaying his anti-government stance, therefore proving he is not part of the establishment. This logic fails to make sense to me. How will he plan to govern as president within government? Also, he serves on numerous subcommittees, and I believe it is safe to doubt that he spends much time contributing his time to them.

And here’s a quote from Donald Trump in a 2012 interview with Fox News about solar power: “Solar, as you know hasn’t caught on because, I mean, a solar panel takes 32 years — it’s a 32-year payback. Who wants a 32-year payback? The fact is, the technology is not there yet.”

Time has proven him wrong, yet his position on solar power as being economically unfeasible vs. the imperative to stave off climate change, shows his business attitude at all costs. This man would run our abused, faltering environment into earlier ravagement than at its current rate.

As president, he would hardly need the billion-dollar briberies of the infamous Koch brothers to protect their fossil-fuel industries. He could destroy us all by himself.

(Photo of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump showing off their leopard kill)

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Trump sons big-game hunting

I draw from the Net site Sideshow these excerpts:

PETA comments:
“Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.”

Donald Trump Sr. defends his sins, Donald Jr. and Eric, saying they love to hunt and are good at it, although he himself is surprised they like hunting. Trump Sr. said he is against the sport.

To continue from Sideshow:

“In one of the more controversial photos, Donald Jr. is seen grinning broadly while holding the severed tail of an elephant in his hands.”

In the interest of accuracy he does not seem to be “grinning broadly” in the photo. The son then explains they have been taught by their grandfather not to waste, and that they donated the meat to the villagers.

Their take that year in 2011 were: a crocodile (reported to be pictured elsewhere hanging on a noose), a kudu, a civet cat, a leopard, and a waterbuck.

So, they donated the meat of the crocodile, civet cat and the leopard to the villagers? Presumably feline and crocodile meat is good to eat.

Elephants, with their socialized family structure and ability to grieve, deserve better from human beings who have no valid reason to kill them. That image of Donald Jr. holding the severed elephant tail continues to haunt me.stasi2n-3-web.jpgUnknown.jpegUnknown.jpegstasi2n-3-web.jpg

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The kitty wool pom pom factor

After a trek to the third pet supply shop I found it — there it was! — one lone packet of wool pom pom balls. Only four in the packet which I figured might last all of two days. They are Bijou’s very favorite toy and have a visible life span of an hour or two before disappearing. Sometimes a pom pom can seem to disappear the instant I toss it to him. My job is to sweep under the furniture with a long dowel, something I used to do when Pinky lost her pink catnip fish day after day.

Often the toy appeared gone for good. Bijou is almost six months old and I calculated that I would need to resupply him with 600 pom pom balls until he grew up and became interested in, say, sleeping 18 hours a day. Yesterday I opened the coat closet and naturally he went inside, rooted around, and emerged with a pom pom in his mouth. How did it get inside in the first place? I have no idea.

The cold fact that these, Bijou’s delights, were discontinued, sent me to the Internet. And there they were, a supplier of a myriad selection of sizes and colors intended as decoration for curtains and tablecloths, made in Turkey at a price affordable as long as they were purchased a dozen at a time. I did not want to figure the total cost of 600 poms poms.

They are being shipped from Texas, lovely yellow and mustard and orange ones.
I await the package as eagerly as any gift from Santa.

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“In GOP We Trust”

A typo like that can really get you thinking. You know who I would consider a reasonable GOP president candidate if there had to be one? John Kasich, in completing his term as governor of Ohio, has been expressing opinions that make him out to be a reasonable human being who refuses to insult the other candidates and Even addresses some of the issues facing the United States.

He avoids joining the chorus of criticism infecting the array of candidates and instead of trailing as far back as he currently does, should at least be up there with the top two, Trump and Cruz, who are making gains in Iowa with their acidic rhetoric. Kasich did not launch into a tirade about the Administration’s failure to exchange prisoners with Iran one for one (as if it were a matchup of weights and measures), he does not fling words, overused for lack of a higher level of vocabulary, such as “Disgusting!” “Stupid!” “Disgraceful!”

You voters in Iowa who worship The Donald because he is saying things you wish you could say about low wages and loss of jobs and other situations of unfairness, think of President Trump conducting diplomatic negotiations with such words. He has declared bankruptcy five times and put tens of thousands of people out of work each time, his style of doing business. Beware what species of candidate you wish for.

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My tortoiseshell Pinky’s fella

I had a visit from Oliver (my name for him for black olive) yesterday. Hadn’t seen him a long while. When he and Pinky met he was about eight months old and she, two years. When he grew up, he came spooning, following her everywhere until she got exasperated and swatted at him. I would come in on them lying side by side on Renato’s sofa. “Meow’s Way” and “Meow’s Way Redux” tells their story and that of my other animal friends.

Then when she was gone he kept coming, calling for her in a sweet voice that broke my heart all over again. I hadn’t seen him in a while until yesterday. He’s gorgeous, has white whiskers and a smudge of white on chest and paws.

I talked to him and he meowed in response, all the while Bijou crouched in the deck doorway, his ears flat. They were quite a pair, black and black, the little one sleek and slim, the big one puffed out with his winter coat.

Oliver meowed again and I invited him to enter but Bijou objected and hissed when he made to come in. That made me sad. I would have loved to tell Oliver properly with a treat that I understood and remembered Pinky with him.

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The cost of fake blood

Whenever Renato and I planned a trip to the United States from Rio de Janeiro, we were flooded with requests by friends and colleagues to perform errands “up there.” Between us, we usually wound up with a list two pages long. Our landlady once asked that we purchase an electric carving knife for meats as well as a dress with a crocodile (“crocodilo”) tag on the breast; friends and colleagues at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro where I worked in the headmaster’s office asked for Gerber’s child foods and specific music records (still vinyl LPs in those days).

Ruth, the director of The Little Theatre, would ask for sheet music, and fake blood. For this last I found a stage props store on NYC’s Broadway, where else. The cost was $8 per pint. It was in a glass bottle, which worried Renato, and we padded and swathed it in at least five plastic bags in case it came loose or broke in our luggage. The bottle survived our return trip, but the customs agent was not so sanguine (sorry!) and he insisted on opening it and taking a sample for testing. He allowed us to move on with a warning that we would hear from Customs if it turned out to be real blood.

Compared to a customs inspection on another trip, that was just playacting. We had brought home for ourselves an entire round of Roquefort cheese, which Had gotten loose from its wrappings and mingled with our clothing. On opening the case the customs man reeled back as though hit by a club, as did we.

The clothes, we could have cleaned, but the suitcase lining, after repeated baths of detergent and a week under the sun outdoors, had to go.

(my right leg isn’t really like that; folds of my gown and all that)

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Comments on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I went to view it mainly to reacquaint myself with Mark Hamill, whom I had last seen in a play on Broadway on one of Renato’s and my redeye flights up from Rio de Janeiro. Hamill’s star soared high in that one film, and then I no longer saw him anywhere else, though his film and TV credits are extensive.

I had a job in the headmaster’s office at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro at the time Hamill’s uncle, Eugene Johnson, was elementary school principal. Gene was proud of his nephew and thought it would be a treat for us all at the school to have him come down for a visit. “Star Wars” had been a hit in Brazil and people went around saying “May the Force be with you” in Portuguese as well as English.

A Hamill did come, but it was his older brother, whose name I cannot remember, only that he was personable and should have been in the movies himself. Gene went on to retirement in San Diego, but his nephew Mark continues in film, the next to be another Star Wars in 2017.

The photo above, by the way, shows a scene from Rio’s American The Little Theatre’s production “Kiss Me Kate.” I am at left in the mustard-colored gown and tall headdress. My sister in San Francisco sent down the eyelashes.